Color Discrimination in the workplace in New Jersey is when an employee or job applicant has been harassed or treated unfairly because of the color of his or her skin. The law prohibits employers, their staff, and clients or vendors in New Jersey from denying a job applicant a job, wrongfully terminating an employee, reducing pay, denying benefits, harassing, denying a job assignment, laying off an employee, denying an employee or job applicant training, or committing any other type of unfair action against an employee or job applicant because of his or her skin color. Derek Smith Law Group has spent the past 25 years working diligently to help clients in New Jersey combat issues such as color discrimination in the workplace while helping these clients receive the justice they deserve.
Color discrimination in the workplace is when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or harassed by his or her employer, co-worker, supervisor, or a person associated with his or her company because of the color of his or her skin. The person committing color discrimination may be of the same or different color or race as the victim. Color discrimination is simply discrimination against a person because they are too light, too dark, or some mixture of both. It does not relate to race, nationality, or culture.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law protects an employee or job applicant of a company with fifteen or more employees from color discrimination.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) provides another option to file a color discrimination claim. LAD allows any employee of any New Jersey firm, no matter its size, to file a claim for workplace color discrimination.
In order to prove color discrimination in the workplace in New Jersey, you must prove that you were singled out due to the color of your skin. This can be done through direct evidence, wherein it was said or overheard that an employee or job applicant was treated unfairly because of his or her skin color. This could also be shown through the receipt of an email or any other written or verbal communications that directly state an action was taken because of a person’s skin color.
This can also be done thorough showing actions as perceived to be due to skin color. For instance, an employee was wrongfully terminated while a person of a different skin color was not fired, even though the job performance was the same. Another example would be when a person is not given a promotion while still given the extra work, while an employee of a different skin color is given a promotion without being given the extra work.
Finally, you may find that the policies and procedures of the firm are discriminatory. For instance, there may be a policy that light-skinned people can only handle certain clients because those clients do not like to work with darker-skinned people. Even policies that state the client is always right, even when it comes to actions that may discriminate against particular employees are discriminatory and can be used as evidence.
Color discrimination in the workplace can be blatantly obvious or very well veiled. Some examples of color discrimination include:
- Jokes about darker or lighter-skinned people
- Creating a hostile work environment for people with certain skin colors
- Wrongful termination of a person due to skin color
- Retaliation against a person who complains to HR about discrimination based on color
- Comments about a preference for specific skin colors
- A culture of hiring or not hiring people based on skin color
- Stating a co-worker would not like an event because of his or her skin color
- Making stereotypical comments regarding skin color
- Refusing to put a person on a client project because the client would be uncomfortable with a person of that skin color
- Using derogatory phrases regarding skin color
- Denial of promotion or raise due to skin color.
These are only a few examples of how color discrimination can present itself in the workplace. However, there are many ways in which color discrimination can be seen.
When you file a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you must file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In New Jersey, the EEOC sets the time limit of 300 days from the date of the last incident to file your claim. Once the claim is filed, the EEOC will investigate and issue a Right to Sue Letter if enough evidence is found to allow you to sue your employer for Color Discrimination.
The New Jersey law, LAD, will allow an employee or job applicant to file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights within 2 years of the date of the last incident of discrimination.
As a victim of color discrimination in the workplace, you are entitled to justice. Justice comes in many forms, all of which can be relief offered by the court. Some of these remedies include:
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Reinstatement of employment
- Firing or relocating supervisor or employee responsible for discriminatory actions
- Attorney fees
- Reimbursement of related medical expenses
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive damages are usually damages intended to punish the employer for these acts. These damages can be determined based on the gross profits of the employer, the nature of the discrimination, and whether the employer is a first-time offender.
Lawsuits for employment color discrimination can take anywhere from a few months to 1 to 2 years to be resolved. If your evidence and case are strong and convincing, your employer may wish to settle the case as quickly as possible. Therefore, the process can take as little as 4 to 6 months to reach a settlement and close the case. However, if your employer will not settle for any reason, then you may have to go to trial. The trial can take anywhere from a few months to 1 to 2 years to resolve.
If you are the victim of age discrimination in your workplace in New Jersey, you want to do everything you can to help your case along. Since you are reading this page, you are looking for what you can do right at this moment to get the ball rolling. Here are some tips to help you start the process:
- If you have not left your job or been fired, do not quit. Quitting your job at this point will hurt your case.
- Begin gathering evidence. Document every incident as it occurs. Note who was involved, what occurred, the date and time it occurred, and even who witnessed the event.
- If your company has an HR department, report the color discrimination to them immediately.
- If your company has policies and procedures for reporting discrimination, follow it. While this may not make the situation any better at work, it will help your case that you followed proper protocol.
- Contact a color discrimination attorney immediately.
Contact us if you have any questions about your color discrimination case in New Jersey? We believe in helping people who have been the victim of color discrimination in the workplace. Working in a hassle-free environment is a right, not a privilege. Call the Derek Smith Law Group at (973) 388-8625 today or fill out our free contact form for your free consultation. We do not collect any money until we win your case.
Different Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle:
- Race Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Age (over 40) Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination