Race Discrimination FAQ | Brown Kwon & Lam | New York

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If you are involved in a racial discrimination case against an employer in New York City, you need a reliable employment law firm with a history of results. But you may have questions about whether the case is even worth pursuing. Take a look at these race discrimination FAQs from the attorneys at Brown Kwon & Lam.

What is race discrimination?

Race discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or has personal characteristics associated with a particular race. Other forms of race discrimination occur when someone is treated unfairly because he or she is married to someone of a certain race.
Discrimination does not only occur when people are of different races but also when the victim and person who inflicted the discrimination are of the same race.

What is direct race discrimination?

Direct race discrimination occurs when you are treated unfairly because of your status in:

  • A protected group
  • Someone believes you are part of a protected group (because of characteristics, etc.)
  • You are connected to someone who is part of a protected group

What is indirect race discrimination?

Indirect race discrimination occurs when an employment policy or condition is supposed to apply to everyone in the same way, but in practice, disadvantages one particular group of people.

Those who are treated disproportionately under the policy or action must be able to show how there is a disconnection between group treatment.

Does race discrimination only apply to wages?

Racial discrimination is prohibited in the hiring, firing, compensation, promotions, training opportunities, benefits availability, recruitment, and any forms of employment conditions.

Can you discriminate against a coworker of your own race?

Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is illegal to discriminate against a coworker of your own race.

For example, if there are two African American workers and one has darker skin, the lighter-skinned employee may not harass the other employee just because they are part of the same race group.

Am I protected against racial discrimination as someone who is bi-racial or multi-racial?

Employees and job applicants are given the same protections against race discrimination for identifying as bi-racial or multi-racial as those who identify as one racial group.

Are white employees protected from race discrimination?

White employees are afforded the same protections against race discrimination in the workplace as employees of other races are.

Can my employer assign me to work with customers or clients who are of my own race?

Your employer cannot exclusively assign you to work with customers or clients of your own race. They can assign you to clients or customers of your own race on a case-by-case basis. The employer may believe it’s a benefit for you to work in such a manner, such as a Black employee working with predominantly Black clients to bring in sales, and it is not legal.

What types of damages can I recover if I am fired due to my race?

If you experience racial discrimination and are fired as a result, you may be entitled to compensatory damages for your losses. This may include front and back pay, costs of looking for another job, therapy to address the inherent psychological harm, and emotional distress damages.

In extreme cases where the employer’s actions were egregious, you may be entitled to punitive damages, however, that seldom occurs.

Can my employer ask about my race?

Federal law does not prohibit employers from asking you about your race. However, some of these questions may indicate an intention to discriminate based on race. Because of this, race-based questions should only be asked for a lawful purpose. This may include for affirmative action purposes or to comply with government laws requiring race information be reported.

Race discrimination can be difficult to prove without evidence, but when you feel your work environment changing for the worse because of it, you need legal action.

Brown Kwon & Lam: Race Discrimination Attorneys

If you are filing a racial discrimination case against an employer in New York City, you need a reliable employment law firm. The attorneys at Brown Kwon & Lam are here to protect your rights in the workplace. If you have been a victim of racial discrimination, contact Brown Kwon & Lam today.

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