Racism in the workplace, which is just one of the manifestations of systemic racism in America, can take many forms. Discrimination begins at the job application stage, but it does not end there. According to the NAACP, a white man with a criminal record is more likely to get called for an interview than a black man with no criminal record. The last chapter of Freakonomics talks about an experiment where identical (fake) resumes were received very differently when the (fictional) applicant had a name that is disproportionately common among white people than they do when the name on the resume was one disproportionately common among African-Americans.
Employment discrimination is not just about refusing to hire someone, though. Harassment directed at employees of one race, or even directed at just one employee because of his or her race, is also a form of racial discrimination. If your co-workers or supervisors are creating a hostile work environment with their racist behavior, contact a New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer.
New Jersey Probation Officer Claims That Racism Made Her Work Environment Intolerable
Lyreshia Bonds has filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey Judiciary in Trenton. The lawsuit alleges that her employers set her up for failure in her work as a probation officer by making her job impossible and repeatedly harassing her, and racism is to blame. Bonds, who is African-American, began working as a probation officer in New Jersey in 2012. From the beginning, her employers set unrealistic expectations for her; she was consistently assigned to more cases than her white co-workers and was expected to give detailed reports on her cases more quickly than was humanly possible. Other African-American employees who worked with her also experienced similar treatment, where they were given heavier caseloads than their white colleagues. Whenever she complained of mistreatment, her supervisors retaliated by increasing her workload.
Bonds also endured harassment and disparaging remarks from her co-workers and supervisors. The lawsuit alleges that her white co-workers projected an attitude of “white superiority” and cited several examples of harassment she experienced. When Bonds and a Black co-worker were walking in an employees-only section of a court building, a non-Black supervisor told them he thought they were going to rob him. Another time, an employee was watching a movie with a predominantly African-American cast on Netflix, and another employee said to him, within earshot of Bonds, “Why are you watching a Black person’s movie? That’s disgusting.” The lawsuit says that racism is “deeply embedded” in the New Jersey Judiciary. Meanwhile, the defendants allege that Bonds did not exhaust all other remedies before filing the lawsuit.
Racism is Deeply Embedded, but Employees Who Have Experienced Racial Discrimination Have the Law on Their Side
At McOmber McOmber & Luber, we are committed to using our role as employment discrimination lawyers to challenge systemic racism on behalf of employees who have experienced racial discrimination at work. Contact McOmber McOmber & Luber in Red Bank, New Jersey to discuss your case.