Unfortunately, even though we have made certain strides, racism still exists today. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1964, race discrimination has been unlawful in the workplace. Race discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently with regard to the terms and conditions of employment that is motivated in any way by his or her race. This can include anything from termination, demotion, failure to hire or disparate pay practices. Racial harassment leading to a “hostile work environment” is also a cognizable claim.
A “hostile work environment” based on race can occur in the workplace when individuals of one race are treated less favorably than other individuals and/or where the environment contains racially-based remarks, nicknames, or jokes. Moreover, although many discrimination cases must first proceed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) before an action may be commenced in federal court, race discrimination cases can often proceed directly to federal court under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which does not require any filing with the EEOC and provides the ability to recover uncapped compensatory and punitive damages – unlike Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Some of our Firm’s largest and most noteworthy cases have involved race discrimination. If you think you may have been a victim of race discrimination, you should speak with an attorney who can advise you of your rights.