Color Discrimination in the workplace in Philadelphia occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or harassed by his or her employer, co-worker, supervisor, or persona associated with the company because of his or her skin color. Unfair treatment can include issues like wrongful termination, retaliation, demotion, creating a hostile work environment, or any other negative action. This is illegal and you have rights. The Derek Smith Law Group has spent the past 25 years helping victims of color discrimination in Philadelphia get justice for color discrimination in the workplace.
An employee or job applicant is a victim of color discrimination when a person within a company treats him or her unfairly simply due to the color of his or her skin. Color discrimination can come from anyone within a company, whether it be the employer, a direct supervisor, a person in a supervisory role within the company, a co-worker, a client, a vendor, or anyone else associated with the company. In addition, it can come from someone of the same race or someone of a different race altogether. Color discrimination can result in any one of the following actions:
- Wrongful termination
- Refusal to hire
- Denial of assignments
- A Hostile Work environment
- Lack of pay raises
- Any other negative work-related actions
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 says that any employee or job applicant working with a company of 15 or more employees cannot be treated unfairly or harassed due to the color of his or her skin.
The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance prohibits employers of 4 or more employees from treating an employee or job applicant unfairly because of the color of his or her skin.
Proving color discrimination in the Philadelphia workplace is about showing that the unfair treatment an employee or job applicant received was based on the color of his or her skin. You must prove that had it not been for your skin color, the unfair treatment would never have occurred. There are several ways this can be done.
First, you can use direct evidence. Direct evidence is that you were directly told or received, intentionally or unintentionally, an email or voicemail, that blatantly stated you were not hired, you were terminated, demoted, or denied an assignment because of your skin color. This type of evidence is rare to come by but does occur and should be saved and documented immediately.
The next type of evidence is based on actions. This type of evidence is not direct but can be very powerful. This type of evidence includes actions that are clearly based on skin color. For instance, you were denied an assignment in favor of another person of the same race with a lighter skin tone. This is called a disparate action and shows evidence that the employee or job applicant is passed over for a promotion, assignment, the job, or terminated and someone of another skin color is given the opportunity instead.
Finally, there is evidence-based on a policy. This evidence shows the company has discriminatory policies and dingle out employees or job applicants because of the color of his or her skin. For instance, a policy that says only dark-skinned employees can work on projects for African American clients is a policy that discriminates based on color.
Color discrimination claims in the workplace have a very specific purpose. Color discrimination typically occurs between people of the same race, however, can also occur between people of different races. Here are some examples of color discrimination that could lead to filing a claim in Philadelphia:
- A culture of hiring only lighter-skin people
- Wrongful termination based on skin color
- Dark-skin employees are the employee typically promoted
- People are left out of company discussions and outings due to skin color or tone
- Jokes are made about skin color or tone
- A culture of harassment of those with lighter or darker skin colors
- Comments of being comfortable with a specific characteristic found in a specific race
- Clients refusing to work with people of a specific skin color
- A hostile work environment based on skin color
- Given extra work but denied a raise due to skin color.
Of course, color discrimination comes in many forms and can present itself in many ways. However, these have been some of the more common ways in which color discrimination is often presented.
An employee can file a claim for color discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to have his or her case heard in federal court. The claim must be filed within 300 days for an investigation to begin. Once the EEOC investigated the claim, a Right to Sue letter will be issued and the case can be filed in federal court.
In addition, employees in Philadelphia are allotted a 1-year time limit to file a claim with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (CHR). The CHR will investigate the claim and issue a Right to Sue letter. From there, the case can be filed in state court.
When an employee files a claim for workplace color discrimination, the goal is to receive justice. Justice can come in the form of financial remedies and actions. The court may provide the following types of remedies for your color discrimination lawsuit:
- Reinstatement of employment
- Repayment of back pay
- Payment of future wages
- Attorney’s fees
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums
- Reimbursement of medical expenses
- Removal or transfer of person causing the color discrimination
- Review and revamping of discriminatory policies
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive damages. These are the damages that are meant to punish the employer. They can be quite high, depending n the gross profits of the employer, the nature of the actions, and whether this is the first offense for the employer.
These are some of the more common remedies available through the courts for your color discrimination lawsuit.
Filing a claim for color discrimination will lead to a lawsuit once you receive the Right to Sue letter. Once you file your claim, it is only natural to want to know how long you can expect the lawsuit to last. Color discrimination lawsuits can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to 1 to 2 years.
The length of time the process will take depends on how great your case may be and the willingness of the other side to cooperate in negotiations. If your employer is willing to negotiate and wants to settle before the case gets to court, the process may be over within 4 to 6 months. However, if the employer wants to fight the case and is not willing to negotiate, you will likely need to go to trial. Then the process can take a year or more to complete.
If you are the victim of color discrimination in the workplace in Philadelphia, there are a few things you can do to help your case move smoothly, before you ever file your complaint.
- If you are still employed, do not quit your job. Quitting your job can hurt your case.
- Collect evidence and begin to make your case. Document every incident, including who was involved, the incident that occurred, the date and time of the incident, and any witnesses to the incident.
- If your company has an HR department, contact them immediately to file your complaint for color discrimination.
- If your company has the policy to deal with color discrimination, follow it. This will help your case.
Not all forms of discrimination are the same and they are not all clearly defined. Therefore, you may experience several different forms of discrimination in the same incident. This means you may experience racial discrimination and still experience color discrimination as well. For instance, maybe the employer will harass you for both your race and color, making derogatory remarks in both regards. This is a clear example of being subject to both race and color discrimination in the same instance. However, sometimes the examples are not as clear cut. Sometimes it is a series of incidents that are included in your claim which resulted in an overall hostile work environment. The experienced attorneys at The Derek Smith Law Group can help you determine what type of claim or claims you have and then make sure you properly file your claim to encompass everything your employer did you lead to this point.
Do you have any questions related to color or race discrimination for which an answer is not provided here? We are here to answer your questions and help you with your color discrimination case. Contact the experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group in Philadelphia at (215) 391-4790 or complete our form for a free consultation. We do not charge any payment for our services until we win your case.
Different Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle:
- Race Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Age (over 40) Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination