If you believe you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, look at legal protections against discrimination and the challenges employees still face today because of their race.
Governmental Action Preventing Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) opened its doors in 1965. This agency enforces the laws that prevent employers from discrimination on the basis of race, and other protected characteristics. The EEOC investigates complaints of employment discrimination based on a protected characteristic, such as race. This investigation evaluates whether an employer broke a discrimination law. To stop discrimination the EEOC either works with the employer to make certain changes or sues to fix the problem.
The most protective law that prevents racial discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law received amendments provided by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which provided greater compensation for discrimination victims and codified case law clarifying methods for analyzing discrimination challenges. However, Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees. This act makes it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their race or other characteristics. The purpose of this act is to “level the playing field” for employees to ensure attributes such as race and gender do not have an impact on hiring decisions. Title VII can influence employer hiring, promotions, firing, and recruitment.
However, the challenges of discrimination in the workplace are far from over, discrimination has just become more discrete. Today’s discrimination often appears in a more muted fashion. This is a result of implicit bias, which are attitudes and stereotypes that unconsciously impact understanding, actions, and decisions. These biases, while not conscious choices, can have a discriminatory impact on workplace decisions such as recruiting, hiring, and promotions.
Further despite filing complaints with EEOC many individuals do not receive relief. This lack of relief occurs even though the EEOC investigates over 100,000 cases a year. Employees often do not receive compensation or improved working conditions. The most frequently filed claims are related to race, but only 15 percent of these claims receive compensation.
To help prevent continued discrimination in the workplace, employers, human resource representatives, and managers need to make diversity a priority. This can include initiatives to implement hiring and promotion policies with a focus on diversity, the creation of a board dedicated to pursuing diversity, and trainings about implicit bias to make sure all employees are aware of the potential problems.
Contact McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.
If you feel you are being discriminated against in the workplace because of your race our attorneys at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. can help. We will review the details of your case and help you determine if you should pursue action. Contact our Red Bank, New Jersey, office at (732) 842-6500, our Newark, New Jersey office at (973) 878-9040, or our Marlton, New Jersey, office at (856) 985-9800.