philadelphia race Discrimination law firm serving pennsylvania and new jersey
Even though laws that prohibit race discrimination in the workplace have been on the books for over 150 years, race discrimination is still a problem today. In fact, despite both federal and state protections, race discrimination is one of the most common forms of employment discrimination.
If you believe that you are dealing with employment discrimination based on race, it is vital to contact an employment attorney who can determine your federal and state rights and remedies.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), and national origin. Title VII applies to employers who employ 15 or more employees.
Title VII prohibits discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s race. Title VII also protects a person from discrimination based on his/her close association with or marriage to someone of a different race.
Title VII covers the entire employment relationship, from advertising a position through termination of the employment relationship. Some examples include hiring, promotion, and termination decisions that are based on race and racial slurs regularly used in the workplace. Further, an employer’s practices and policies may appear to be neutral (i.e., not overtly directed at employees of a certain national origin), but may have a disparate impact on employees of a certain national origin.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (Section 1981) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in the making or enforcement of employment contracts. Section 1981 has been interpreted very broadly to prohibit any intentional workplace discrimination or harassment based on race.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) prohibits discrimination and harassment against multiple classes of people, including discrimination based on race and color. The PHRA applies to employers who employ 4 or more employees.
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) also prohibits discrimination and harassment against multiple classes of people, including discrimination based on race and color. The NJLAD applies to employers of any size.
I have been discriminated against. What do I do?
There are strict deadlines for filing discrimination claims that vary by the circumstances of your situation and the state in which you reside. In Pennsylvania, victims of discrimination must first file through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) and receive a “Right to Sue” letter in order to file a lawsuit in court. In New Jersey, individuals may file a lawsuit in court without first filing with an agency. Individuals may file a lawsuit in court under Section 1981 without first filing with an agency.
If you have been a victim of illegal discrimination in the workplace, contact employment lawyer Stephanie J. Mensing of Mensing Law LLC at (215) 586-3751. Ms. Mensing in an employment attorney with extensive experience handling discrimination cases in the agencies and state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Schedule a consultation today to ensure that your rights are protected.