Race discrimination in Miami is when an employer treats an employee or job applicant poorly due to his or her race. Race is defined as a group of people sharing similar characteristics, such as hair texture, bone structure, facial features, eye shape, skin color, etc. When an employer fires someone, refuses to hire someone or uses racial slurs against someone because of the employee’s race, the employer is committing race discrimination and that is illegal. For the past 25 years, Derek Smith Law Group has helped Miami’s victims of race discrimination in the workplace find justice for this treatment.
Race discrimination in Miami is the unfair treatment of harassment of an employee or job applicant based on his or her race. Unfair treatment and harassment include:
- Wrongful termination
- Refusal to hire
- Creating a hostile work environment
- Denial of Benefits
- Denial of rights to express race through clothing, hairstyles, cuisine, and other race-related
- Overlooked for assignments
- Denial of pay increase
- Unequal pay
Race discrimination in the workplace can occur between people of the same race or different races. No race is exempt from race discrimination. Racial discrimination can even affect an employee or job applicant because he or she is married to a person of another race or involved in an interracial marriage. Whether you are white/Caucasian, African American, Latino, Asian-American, or Middle Eastern, you are not excluded from becoming a victim of race discrimination.
Sometimes, racial discrimination in the workplace is not as blatant as we are led to believe. That does not mean race discrimination in the workplace does not exist. Most employers are just better at making it appear less obvious. Here are some things to look for to determine if you are experiencing racial discrimination in your Florida workplace:
- Racial slurs and/or offensive comments made by the harasser, to describe a person’s race or color
- Racial cartoons or emails throughout the workplace
- Derogatory comments regarding race-related features, such as hair, ethnic clothing, facial features, etc.
- Jokes about race, including stereotypical comments made in a jovial manner
- Being denied work because the client does not want to work with “someone like you”
- Being given additional responsibilities, however, denied additional pay or promotion due to race
- Demotion due to race
- Being part of a layoff because of race
- Unequal pay between races
- Retaliation against an employee for reporting racial discrimination
- Wrongful termination due to race
- A noticeable culture of hiring or not hiring specific races
- Creating a hostile work environment due to race
- Exclusion from events and workplace chatter due to race
- Being targeted because you are in an inter-racial relationship
- Asking an employee or job applicant about his or her racial identity
Employers, co-workers, supervisors, clients, and anyone associated with a company are prohibited from discriminating against an employee or job applicant through federal and state laws. Federally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for any employer, agent of a company, or associate of a company of 20 or more employees to treat any employee or job applicant because of his or her race.
Florida also prohibits such actions through Title XLIV of the Florida Civil Rights Act. According to Florida law, it is illegal for an employer with 15 or more employees to harass an employee or treat any employee or job applicant unfairly because of his or her race.
There are several types of ways to prove racial discrimination in the workplace. The types of evidence most commonly used include direct evidence, disparate actions, and discriminatory policies.
Direct evidence is when the employee or job applicant is told directly or receives an email (by accident or intentionally) that he or she was treated unfairly because of his or her race. This also includes the racial slurs that are directly said to an employee or job applicant and racially targeted jokes or remarks. Some attorneys call this type of evidence the “smoking gun.” It is not the most common type of evidence, but it is not exactly rare.
Disparate actions are the actions that the company, supervisor, co-worker, or associate take that are discriminatory. This type of evidence usually relates to the victim of racial discrimination being passed over for some type of employment opportunity in favor of an employee or job applicant of a different race. This will usually be a series of actions that demonstrate a culture within the company.
Finally, some policies are discriminatory. Such policies may include not allowing people to maintain certain hairstyles or clothing styles that are race-related. It may also include issues such as certain employees are only allowed to work in certain areas or on certain client files because of racial issues.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sets a time limit of 300 days for a victim of race discrimination in the Miami workplace to file a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC will then investigate the claim and determine whether the issue is truly a racial discrimination claim. If the EEOC finds enough evidence to suggest that a claim for race discrimination exists, it will issue the employee or job applicant a Right to Sue letter, at which time a complaint can be filed in federal court.
The Florida Commission of Human Relations (FLCHR) governs the Title XLIV of the Florida Civil Rights Act. The FLCHR sets the time limit of 1 year from the date of the last incident to file a claim for race discrimination in the workplace.
Florida courts want to help any victim of racial discrimination receive the justice he or she deserves. Some of the relief available through the court include:
- Reinstatement of employment
- Back Pay
- Future pay
- Attorney’s fees
- Firing or Transferring the person or people responsible for the discrimination
- Reviewing and revamping policies and procedures
- Reinstatement of benefits
- Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, which are damages designed to punish the employer for racial discrimination. These damages are often based in part on the gross profits of the company, the nature of the discrimination, and whether this is the first offense.
Lawsuits do not have a definitive timeline. There are many variables that will affect how long the lawsuit for racial discrimination will last. Typically, these matters can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to one year or longer. If the employer is willing to negotiate the settlement in negotiations prior to appearing in court, it is possible the lawsuit will settle within 4 to 6 months of receiving the Right to Sue letter.
However, if the employer does not want to negotiate or is not willing to offer a fair settlement, then the case will likely go to trial. The process to get to trial can take several months to over a year, depending on how long the employer takes to file the required answers and other documents and how much discovery (or pre-trial preparation) is required. The entire process can take one to two years before a judgment is entered.
If you have been victimized by your employer, co-worker, supervisor, or business associate for your race, you will need to prepare before you file your claim of race discrimination in the workplace. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your case:
- If you have not been fired or quit your job, do not quit. It will hurt your case is you voluntarily quit your job.
- If your company has an HR department, file a claim with HR about your experience of racial discrimination.
- Gather evidence. Document every incident of racial discrimination including the people involved, the incident, when the incident occurred, and any witnesses to the incident.
- If your firm has a policy regarding how to report and handle race discrimination, follow it. Not following the company’s policy will hurt your claim.
- Consult with a Miami racial discrimination attorney.
No one deserves to be fired, refused employment, denied a promotion, denied training or benefits, demoted, or harassed in the workplace because of his or her race. If you are the victim of workplace race discrimination in Miami, the Derek Smith Law Group can help you get justice. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for your free consultation. We do not get paid until you win your case.
Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle in Miami:
- Color 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