More than 150 years after the formal abolition of slavery, discrimination on the basis of race remains a major problem in the United States, including in our workplaces. Study after study after study tells us, for example, that the race of a job applicant plays a disturbing role in hiring decisions. And although the data about workplace decisions beyond hiring – such as who gets promoted and who gets laid off – is much less voluminous, it is difficult to imagine that demonstrated racism stops altogether once a job offer is accepted.
If you are a victim of racial discrimination, you have rights. For more than 40 years, the employment discrimination lawyers at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. have worked tirelessly to combat race discrimination and to stand with employees who stand up for themselves. We have fought for them inside and outside the courtroom, and we are here to fight for you.
What Is Racial Discrimination?
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of their race in hiring, firing, discipline, distribution of benefits, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other condition of employment.
Neither federal nor state employment discrimination law contains a specific definition of “race.” However, “race” is generally understood to mean the ancestry or physical or cultural characteristics associated with a certain group of people. This can include skin color, hair texture or styles, or facial features. It can also include activities or interests that are predominantly enjoyed or pursued by members of a certain race.
Most people know that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of that employee’s race. They may not know that the law also prohibits discrimination based on the race of that employee’s spouse or friends. You cannot be terminated, for example, because you are in an interracial relationship or marriage or because you have a child or other relative of a different race.
How Can You Prove Race Discrimination in the Workplace?
Like many forms of employment discrimination, racial bias can be difficult to prove. After all, as courts have routinely explained, “an employer who discriminates is unlikely to leave a ‘smoking gun’ attesting to a discriminatory intent.” E.g., Chambers v. TRM Copy Ctrs. Corp., 43 F.3d 29, 37 (2d Cir. 1994).
Fortunately, we are able to prove discrimination through circumstantial evidence. Did someone in your workplace use racist language and receive only a slap on the wrist? Have you noticed employees of your race being laid off and replaced by new hires of a different race? Were you written-up for something that all of your different-raced coworkers do without consequences? These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself as you try to identify potential evidence of discrimination.
How Our Connecticut Racial Discrimination Lawyers Can Help
Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. has long been recognized as a preeminent employment law firm in Connecticut. Our Connecticut racial discrimination lawyers have taken on virtually every large employer in the state. We work as a team to give you the best representation possible.
If you have experienced race discrimination, you may be experiencing a host of emotions, including frustration, anger, and fear. That is understandable. We have found over the years that victims only begin to regain their power when they use their voices. We are here to help you amplify yours.
If you are facing racial discrimination in your Connecticut workplace, please contact Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti now for a confidential evaluation of your case.