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Race Discrimination Attorney Philadelphia


Race discrimination in Philadelphia is when an employer, co-worker, supervisor, or company associate unfairly treats or harasses a job applicant or employee because off his or her race. Race is defined as a group of people who share physical characteristics, such as facial features, hair texture, bone structure, eye shape, and more. Race discrimination in the workplace is illegal and should not be tolerated. Derek Smith Law Group’s experienced attorneys have helped victims of race discrimination battle this type of injustice for the past 25 years.

What is Discrimination Based on Race in Philadelphia?

Race discrimination in the workplace is when an employee or job applicant is harassed or unfairly treated by his or her supervisor, employer, co-worker, or anyone associated with the business simply because of race. Race discrimination may target the following:

  • Physical characteristics, such as hairstyle, facial features, skin color
  • Culture
  • Ethnic foods
  • Clothing
  • Spouse, friends, or associates
  • National Origin

All races are protected from race discrimination, whether an employee or job applicant is white/Caucasian, black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Middle Eastern, or a member of any other race. Furthermore, racial discrimination can occur between people of the same race or people of the same race.

What Are Some Examples of Race Discrimination in the Workplace?

Race discrimination in the workplace can come in many forms. The general rule is that discrimination is caused by the actions or comments that make the workplace uncomfortable. Some examples of race discrimination include:

  • Derogatory comments about race
  • Dress codes that single out race-related features or clothing (i.e. hair extensions, ethnic clothing, etc.)
  • A culture of hiring one particular race
  • A culture of not hiring a particular race
  • Layoffs projected at particular races
  • Wrongful termination based on race
  • Demotion because of race
  • Lack of pay raises even when additional work is given to the employee and the qualifications warrant a pay raise
  • Non-equal pay based on race
  • Refusal of a project based on race
  • Using racial slurs in the office, even when not directed at the employee of the intended race
  • Comments or jokes about race
  • Unfair treatment of an employee because he or she is in an interracial relationship
  • Creating a hostile work environment for an employee due to race
  • Refusal to allow an employee or job applicant access to public accommodations due to race
  • Failure to provide benefits to employees due to race
  • Retaliation against an employee for complaining about racial discrimination
What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Race Discrimination in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

In order to prove race discrimination in Philadelphia, there must be either direct comments, direct or indirect actions, or racially discriminatory policies.

Direct evidence is when an employer, co-worker, supervisor, or associate intentionally or unintentionally says to an employee or job applicant that he or she was treated unfairly because of his or her race. For instance, this can be a comment that a job applicant was not hired because of his or her race or that an employee was fired because of his or her race. This also can be the racial slurs and comments that are said in the office or sent via email. Direct evidence can be in writing or verbal.

Another type of evidence is Disparate evidence. These are actions that are deemed racially discriminatory. They typically relate to a culture that is seen within the office. For instance, when a black employee is qualified, but passed over for the promotion that was given to an equally or less-qualified employee who happens to be white, that is an action that can be used as disparate evidence. If you can show that a person is being treated unfairly because of his or her race while other employees who may not be as qualified or as hard-working are receiving better treatment, then you have disparate evidence.

Finally, discriminatory policies can be evidence of race discrimination in the workplace. If a firm has a policy that certain styles of dress that target certain races, like prohibiting people from wearing a Sari to work, which would target Indian Americans, that would be an example of discriminatory policy and can be used as evidence of race discrimination in the workplace.

Is There a Statute of Limitations to File a Workplace Race Discrimination Claim in Philadelphia?

A claim of Race Discrimination in Philadelphia under Title VII can be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the last incident of discrimination. Once the claim is filed, the EEOC will investigate the claim and issue a Right to Sue letter giving you permission to file your complaint in federal court.

The time limit to file a claim under the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance is one year from the date of the last incident of discrimination.

What Type of Remedies Does the Court Provide for Race Discrimination in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

Each lawsuit has its own set of challenges Therefore when it comes to race discrimination cases in Philadelphia, the types of damages can vary. Most settlements will include several types of damages, such as:

  • Reinstatement of a job
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Firing of the employee or supervisor responsible for the racial discrimination
  • Back Pay
  • Forward Pay (expected income loss)
  • Reimbursement of medical expenses
  • Reimbursement of additional expenses caused by the act of race discrimination
  • Reimbursement of benefit premiums
  • Review and revamping of discriminatory policies
  • Punitive damages

The punitive damages are supposed to “punish” the employer for the actions that led to the lawsuit. The idea is to hit the employer where it hurts; in the bank account. Therefore, depending on the size of the employer, the nature of the race discrimination claims, and the revenue of the employer, you may receive settlements anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars.

How Long Does a Race Discrimination Lawsuit in Philadelphia Take to Close?

If you are the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, you likely want to be done with the claim as quickly as possible. A lawsuit for race discrimination in the workplace in Philadelphia can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months from the receipt of the Right to Sue Letter to 1 year or longer. If your employer (or the defendant) is willing to negotiate a fair settlement prior to going to trial, the process may be completed in 4 to 6 months.

However, if the defendant refuses to negotiate fairly, the case will go to trial. Preparation for trial will take a few months to almost a year, while the case will spend anywhere from a few days to a month or so in front of the judge and jury.

What is Reversed Racial Discrimination?

In order to avoid appearing racist, individuals and companies may make a habit of hiring more minorities giving more work and better money to those of other races, instead of people who are Caucasian. This practice is race discrimination and has often been known as reverse racism and is just as illegal as any other type of racial discrimination. The law is clear that no person should be singled out because of their race. It does not matter the race. Any type of racial discrimination is illegal.

Is Race Discrimination in the Workplace Illegal?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance makes it illegal to discriminate against any person based on race in a workplace of 15 or more employees. This means that an employer may not make employment decisions of any kind based on race, whether they be positive or negative. Furthermore, the law does not name any particular race as a protected class.

What Proactive Steps Should Be Taken While Preparing to File a Claim?

When it comes to workplace race discrimination, the more proactive you are, the better your case will be. Here are some things you can do before filing your claim:

  • If you have not been fired or quit at this point, stay employed. Do not quit. Quitting will hurt your case.
  • If your company has an HR department, file a complaint for race discrimination.
  • If your company has a policy or procedures for handling race discrimination claims in the workplace, read the policy and then follow it exactly. Following the company policy will help your case.
  • Gather evidence to support your claim. Document every incident, where it occurred, when it occurred, who was involved, and who witnessed the incident. The more details in the notes, the better it is for your case.
  • Contact a race discrimination attorney in Philadelphia.
Contact Our Experienced Philadelphia Race Discrimination Attorneys for a Free Consultation

No one should have to be subject to race discrimination in making decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotions, training, benefits, compensation, or other employment-related issues. If you are the victim of workplace race discrimination in Philadelphia, the experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group in Philadelphia can help. Contact us today at (215) 391-4790 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.

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