The New Jersey race discrimination attorneys at Lenzo & Reis understand that many employees face discrimination at work on a daily basis even though race discrimination in employment has been prohibited since the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) was enacted in 1945. Although passed almost twenty years later, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also makes it illegal to discriminate against workers on the basis of race. Yet here we are, more than 75 years after the passage of the Law Against Discrimination and employees across the State of New Jersey are still being subjected to discrimination --- whether blatant, more subtle forms or even microaggressions. Regardless of the type or severity of workplace race discrimination, all forms of employment race discrimination are unlawful, professionally harmful, and personally hurtful. In fact, the New Jersey Supreme Court declared that not only working in a discrimination-free workplace is a civil right but that discrimination “menaces the foundation of a free democratic” society. Andersen v. Exxon Co., U.S.A., 89 N.J. 483, 491 (1982). Given the profound importance of ridding workplaces of racial discrimination, employees need to understand that they do not need to tolerate unlawful race discrimination at work and that Chris Lenzo and Claudia Reis are tough advocates ready to obtain justice for them in the face of ongoing race discrimination at work.What if I am Being Treated Unfavorably Because of my Relationship With Someone From a Different Race?
Employers who negatively treat employees because they are friends with, spouses of, in relationships with, and/or otherwise associate with people of another race are also engaging in unlawful race discrimination. New Jersey attorneys who regularly handle race discrimination cases commonly refer to such discrimination as associational discrimination. Associational discrimination means treating employees unfavorably not because the actual employees are members of a protected class (such as being of a certain race) but rather because they associate with people of a particular race.What Does Illegal Workplace Race Discrimination Look Like?
We don’t need to tell you that race discrimination takes on many forms because if you are reading this page, you likely live the harsh realities of workplace race discrimination on a daily basis. What we can tell you is that we have seen and represented countless workers in many different types of claims involving both blatant and subtle race discrimination. But Chris Lenzo and Claudia Reis understand all too well that what we see and hear about race discrimination does not even begin to scratch the surface of what our clients face on a daily basis.
The more blatant examples of race discrimination involve hurtful symbols of racism in our country and words of division. Obvious forms of discrimination involve
- displays of nooses in the workplace,
- use of the n word,
- use of other racial epithets such as “spic”, “wetback”, “jungle bunny”, “cracker” and countless others,
- paying workers of a particular race less than similarly qualified workers of other races,
- refusing to promote employees of a particular race,
- promoting workers of a particular race significantly less often or to less prestigious positions than those to which less qualified or equally qualified workers of another race are promoted,
- disciplining workers of a particular race more harshly or more often than their peers of another race for similar or less significant offenses.
Race discrimination, however, is not limited to blatant discrimination as there are just as many, if not more, forms of subtle discrimination as well as microaggressions that workers are subjected to on a daily basis. What do those look like? There are probably far too many examples to list them all but some forms of other discrimination that we see most often involve
- giving workers credit for the work or ideas of employees of another race,
- withholding praise from workers of a particular race for achievements that workers of another race are praised for,
- mentoring, whether formally or informally, workers while not similarly mentoring employees of another race,
- assigning employees of a certain race to less prestigious or less visible work than that assigned to their peers,
- giving workers of a particular race more labor intensive and/or time-intensive work, which has the effect of making their peers seem more productive,
- assigning employees of a certain race to less lucrative accounts or deals than their peers,
- denying workplace accommodations or other benefits to employees of a particular race routinely provided to their peers, and
- marveling at how articulate, for example, a black employee is given that non-blacks are seldom praised for their articulateness.
The New Jersey workplace race discrimination attorneys at Lenzo & Reis do not just understand how to make a compelling case of discrimination and how demeaning and hurtful workplace race discrimination can be, but they also know how to get justice for employees discriminated against on the basis of their race. What justice means for any particular person depends a lot on the type of racial discrimination the employee was subjected to, the employee’s risk tolerance, whether the matter is being negotiated (meaning an informal settlement) or litigated (meaning a suit has been filed), and the particular type of justice sought by that person. What does that mean? Well, for example, if an employee claims that he was fired because of his race, justice may mean getting the employee his job back with a payment for lost back pay and other damages (like emotional distress) or even a severance agreement to help soften the blow from the job loss in a negotiation. In litigation, an employee who successfully proves that he was fired because of his race can receive lost back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, prejudgment interest, and, even, in some cases punitive damages, which are those high awards that are intended to punish discriminatory employers. Similarly, someone who is still working but is regularly subjected to racial harassment or discrimination may decide that working for that employer is no longer possible and, therefore, seek a severance package. In litigation, an employee who successfully proves race discrimination but is still working for the discriminatory employer may be entitled to emotional distress damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, prejudgment interest, and, even, in some cases punitive damages.What Should You Do If You are Being Discriminated Against Because of Your Race?
The race discrimination attorneys at Lenzo & Reis have helped hundreds of employees get justice and high figure settlements and outcomes in New Jersey discrimination cases. We can also help you successfully put an end to race discrimination at your workplace. If you want to put an end to the race discrimination you are being subjected to at your job or obtain justice for what you endured, contact the New Jersey race discrimination attorneys of Lenzo & Reis either by phone at 973-845-9922 or by completing our online form by clicking here.
We proudly represent workers throughout all of New Jersey including, but not limited to, Newark, Morristown, Hackensack, and Somerset.