Despite many strides made for civil rights in America, there are still many companies that both secretly and openly mistreated employees based on their race and color. These companies can mistreat workers on a large scale, or they may simply not punish supervisors and managers who practice discriminatory behavior on a small scale. They do not want to face the potential media backlash, strikes, and boycotts that often accompany these allegations and claims. They also do not want to pay the large settlements that stem from racial discrimination lawsuits. If you have been racially discriminated against at your job, it is important that you pursue appropriate legal action with the assistance of a skilled employment lawyer. Our law firm, the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, can ensure that you are fairly represented and that you are given the maximum settlement you deserve from the company.
Laws Preventing Racial Discrimination
There are various laws and protected classes concerning mistreatment in the workplace. The key law concerning racial discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act states that it is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. This means that the color of your skin or your ethnicity cannot be used as reasons for employment or refusal of employment. The country in which you were born also cannot be used as a reason.
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act outlaws racial discrimination. California actually has many more protected classes than the Federal government. The exact wording of the Fair Employment and Housing Act says that discrimination is outlawed if based on “race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.”
Businesses and companies that participate in discriminatory behaviors run the risk of being fined or shut down for their actions. However, there are many ways for a company to circumvent punishment, and it is crucial that you seek legal assistance to ensure that the company does not get away with racial discrimination.
Examples of Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
Racial discrimination can take on many forms. You may be mistreated simply for being a different color and have customers turned away from you, or your manager may purposely deny you certain perks and benefits. You should always pay careful attention to how you are treated and how others are treated in the workplace. If there are clear examples of discrimination, take note of them. Some of the results of racial discrimination include:
- Reduced or cut hours so you cannot work as often as you would like
- Docked pay or reduced wages
- Paid less salary than other coworkers
- No promotions offered or given, or promotions are denied
- Violations of civil rights and employee rights, such as by forcing you to work when you have medical issues, refusing you worker’s compensation, taking away reasonable accommodations, and more
- Facing harassment from coworkers, slurs, abuse, crude videos and photos, mean jokes, and more
- Denied requests for a raise or vacation time
- Forced job relocation to a less favorable branch or area of the city
- Constant interference in job duties, nitpicking, harsh criticism, and more
- Given lesser duties or job responsibilities below your pay grade or that are not part of your job description in an attempt to demean you or force you to quit
- Given too many responsibilities or duties so that you become overwhelmed, resulting in cause for termination
- Application problems, as in you were not hired because of your race yet fulfilled the job requirements
- Unfair job assignments, which may include dangerous tasks, menial responsibilities, and more
- Retaliation for speaking out against someone or for filing a discrimination complaint, which can include any of the above actions and many more
- Wrongful termination or firing from your job, but many managers are supervisors are careful about claiming the reason you were fired – they will always outright deny that it was racially motivated
If you were subjected to any of these treatments because of the color of your skin or your race, you should reach out to our firm for assistance in filing a lawsuit. We will ensure that you are fairly protected and that you receive every penny you deserve from the company.
How to File a Racial Discrimination Claim against Your Employer
If you wish to file a racial discrimination claim against your employer, you will need sufficient evidence to do so. It can be difficult to acquire some of this proof because you may not be privy to it. For example, if you were fired because of your skin, the most certain proof is for your manager or supervisor to outright state that. However, you will very likely not have that piece of evidence for your claim, so you will have to examine the situation and assemble a large amount of evidence.
The first step you should take is to file a complaint with the necessary authority figure. If you go to the Human Resources department, you should be aware that they exist to protect the company, and not to protect the employee. Human Resources representatives often tuck claims away and then discuss ways to quell or quiet the worker, which may include transferring or termination. If you were discriminated against by your boss or manager, you could file a complaint with someone higher up the ladder, but you may not have your word believe due to the power and rank discrepancy. You should make copies of any emails you sent with the complaint, as well as any communication between you and HR or a boss.
Next, you should always keep a journal with all details of the discrimination, from the first time it happened and onward. Keep dates and exact individuals involved written down. Make sure that you do not miss any important details. A meticulous journal can be a strong piece of evidence.
You should take pictures of any potentially offensive or discriminatory print outs or posters that were hung up, or if someone brought in materials that are discriminatory. You could have audio recordings that illustrate the slurs that were used against you, jokes that were made, and more. You could potentially retrieve security footage depicting mistreatment and harassment, but this will be very difficult to acquire. The company will likely not want to hand over evidence that can potentially incriminate it, and it will not easily let security videos go into your hands.
One of the most important pieces of evidence you will have is the testimonies of coworkers. You can ask them about their pay to illustrate any discrepancies, and you can ask them about their duties or benefits to see how they different from yours. They can also attest to previous coworkers who were fired and if they were of the same race or ethnicity, as well as patterns of behavior found in managers or even other workers. The more individuals you have on your side backing your claim, the more likely it is that it will be a success. Similarly, if you have enough coworkers who were also mistreated or discriminated against, you could band together and file a class action lawsuit against the company.
If the discrimination and mistreatment was present in emails, notes, or messages, make copies immediately. This kind of physical proof can be difficult to acquire, and you do not want to risk it getting corrupted, lost, ruined, stolen, or deleted.
If you were not hired for a position or you were not given a promotion, you can evaluate the skills and qualifications and see what the reason was. You could also establish a pattern of behavior if minorities or individuals who share your race were systematically ignored or demoted.
In the event of termination, you should request a reason. Despite California being a state with at-will employment, which means that employers can fire their workers at any time for any reason (and workers can leave at any point, not requiring a two-week notice to do so), it is still illegal for individuals to be fired due to their race. You can use other testimonies or a lack of a poor performance review to bolster your claim. You may also point out to individuals who participated in similar activities, made similar errors, and more, all of whom were still kept on while you were the lone individuals fired.
Finally, it is in your best interest to hire a racial discrimination attorney in Los Angeles who can handle your case for you. You might not have any legal experience or knowledge about employment law, which can greatly harm your case. If you try to move forward with a lawsuit without a solid foundation, your claim will not have great results. Our team of attorneys can work around the clock to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve, and we will stop at nothing to win you every penny. You should focus on staying positive, working elsewhere if possible, or searching for a better position.
Sample Verdicts and Settlements for Racial Discrimination Claims
Below, we have provided some sample settlements and verdicts that have been awarded to victims of racial discrimination. These settlements are verdicts are example of what can possibly be won, but they do not indicate what will definitely be awarded. If your case is similar, that does not guarantee that you will receive the exact same compensation. You should consider these samples to better understand how compensation is awarded.
- $700,000 Settlement: A woman who was African American and over the age of 40 years old suffered discrimination at her job. She worked at a rather well-known investment banking firm. Despite her time spent at the job and her status as a protected class, she continually faced unequal pay and wages and ongoing discrimination. Upon broaching the subject, the woman was wrongfully terminated. She then filed a lawsuit against the company and was awarded a large settlement for the discriminatory actions.
- $325,000 Settlement: A female African American worker was employed at a health care provider. Her supervisor began to take part in prejudiced and discriminatory actions against her, including docking her pay and reducing her hours. She filed a lawsuit seeking compensation and the employer paid out a settlement for the mistreatment.
- $180,000 Verdict: A Hispanic man suffered wrongful termination at his job due to the fact that he would not stand for his mistreatment. He was expecting and due for a promotion, but his supervisor instead demoted him. He claimed that he was forced to quit and that his supervisor was excessively abusive and discriminatory. His company was forced to pay the verdict and he was reinstated into his previous position.
- $14,500,000 Settlement: A lawsuit was filed against a drilling company due to discrimination against its minority employees. The employees were continually faced with a hostile work environment. They were subjected to various ethnic and racial slurs, were intimidated and with termination and other actions, and had promotions withheld from them, resulting in lower wages. The company had to pay out the settlement to workers, but was also forced to undergo progress reports and check-ins for 4 years after the settlement. They must also institute an anti-discrimination training program and a new Vice President position that focuses on equal employment opportunities for minorities.
- $7,500,000 Verdict: A group of African American store managers sued their company after it was discovered that the company was practicing heavy racial discrimination. They were refused pay, promotions, and other terms of employment. One of the managers claims that she was fired because the Vice President wanted a traditional white man to hold the position. The other manages claimed that they were routinely mistreated because the company wanted to adhere to a specific look or brand. In the end, the company was forced to pay recompense to the victims, payment to the attorneys for legal fees, and payment for a claims administrator.
If you want to learn more about other racial discrimination lawsuits that have been filed and resulted in large settlements or verdicts, contact our law firm today.
Compensation from a Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Racial discrimination claims against employers or businesses can vary in value. They may be worth a fair amount of compensation, especially if the discrimination were pervasive and recurring. Some insurance agents will not award large settlement offers because they do not see the actions as overly discriminatory; they may have only been simply mean or coming from a place of dislike, as opposed to motivated by prejudice. Either way, our attorneys will strive to win you the maximum compensation available under the law. We will see to it that you have numerous expenses paid for, including the following:
- Lost Income and Wages: One of the results of racial discrimination is a total loss of income. You may have your pay docked or reduced, or your hours may be cut so that you cannot earn as much money. With reduced hours comes a reduction in benefits as well. Your tips, commissions, and bonuses may be taken away. If you were fired, you can also potentially be out of work for some time. Our attorneys will seek reimbursement of all of these earnings, including payment from the future if you have trouble finding work. If you were going to receive a promotion, raise, or other type of increase at work, we will ensure that you are given the rightful position and pay.
- Reinstatement: Many individuals are fired because of racial discrimination or they are put on leave while a claim is sorted out. We will ensure that your previous job position is available for you once the claim has been resolved. However, many victims do not elect to pursue reinstatement, especially if abusers and problematic individuals are still employed by the company. It may only be a matter of time before the discrimination starts up again. Another issue is that, despite a successful claim, the company may deliberately make a hostile work environment in order to drive you to quit, or will do everything in their power to fire you for a legal reason, even if it is a small mistake or error.
- Pain and Suffering Damages: Racial discrimination can cause intense psychological stress. There may be various mental trauma stemming from the repeated incidents. We will pursue coverage for fear, anxiety, PTSD, emotional anguish, and more. Pain and suffering damages are often difficult to weigh, though, because the amount of turmoil that each individual undergoes is not constant or concrete.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages may be awarded in instances where your coworker or employer intentionally acted with the intent to harm you, or if there was gross negligence at play. These damages are purely monetary and are meant to punish the company or individual. The goal is to dissuade future prejudices from occurring. However, many courts and juries view punitive damages as excessive and unnecessary, and only a skilled racial discrimination lawyer will be able to win them for your case.
Our attorneys will also seek positive changes in the company environment. We will ensure that there are adequate training materials available to all workers and that the company takes greater care in protecting its employees from any prejudiced actions.
Bear in mind that there is the possibility for you to file a class action lawsuit against your company in which other plaintiffs will join and add their evidence. Although this increases the amount of proof and the likelihood of success, it will also decrease the possible compensation that can be awarded to each individual who was affected by the discrimination. A large settlement will be distributed evenly amongst those involved. It may be wise for you to file a claim on your own as opposed to joining a class action lawsuit.
You should not be expected to pay for these damages and losses, nor should you walk away from a racial discrimination case with no monetary restitution at all. We will do everything in our power to win you a fair settlement from the company.
Statute of Limitations on Racial Discrimination Claims
The statute of limitations is the time during which you can file a lawsuit and receive compensation. If you do not sue within this time period, you will be unable to receive any compensation in the future, and your case will be thrown away. The statute of limitations is in place to ensure that both parties have sufficient time to gather enough evidence to build a case or defend their stance. The plaintiff will not be able to file a lawsuit too many years into the future and make it hard for the company to fight back, for one, but the time limit is also long enough that the business will not get away with the actions.
Because there are Federal and State agencies that handle racial discrimination claims, there are two different statutes of limitations. If you choose to file a lawsuit through the Federal EEOC, then you will have 180 days to issue a charge. Once the investigation is complete and the EEOC deems that you can sue, then you will have 90 days to take legal action. However, if you opt to go through California’s DFEH, then you will have 300 days to file a claim. An exception to this rule lies in the defendant’s status as a government agency. Government agencies must have legal action taken against them within 90 days.
You can also have the statute of limitations temporarily extended or frozen. If an individual is a minor, he cannot legally sue, but he can be represented by a guardian or parent. If he opts not to have any representation, he can wait until his 18th birthday for the statute of limitations to start counting down. Additionally, the defendant must be present in California for the lawsuit to proceed. If he has left the state or the country, then the statute of limitations will not count down until he returns.
Many times, victims of racial discrimination do not know how much time they have to file a claim, or that a deadline even exists. A large number of claims are lost simply because the statute of limitations expires. If you come to our firm, we will ensure that all your documents are submitted on time and that there is no chance whatsoever of your statute expiring. We are punctual, efficient, and timely. Our attorneys will take care of everything from start to finish for your lawsuit.
Our Lawyers Speak Spanish
Some instances of workplace racial discrimination occur against immigrants from other countries or continents, or against individuals who have relocated to Southern California from other areas of the state. Not every employee can fluently speak English, and the lack of perfect understanding can be a large detriment in claims and a primary reason for misunderstanding. Employers may even purposely word things in such a way to intentionally confuse or befuddle their employees and trick them into signing unfair contracts or papers.
If you need a lawyer who speaks Spanish to help you with your workplace racial discrimination claim, you can contact our law firm. A Spanish speaking attorney will be available to talk with you about your case. You should not be hesitant to file a claim because you do not speak English. We believe that all individuals who have been mistreated in the workplace deserve the justice they are entitled to, whether or not they speak English as a primary language.
Free Second Opinion
Often, attorneys will take on many more claims than they can reasonably handle. They will then try to burn through as many as possible and will make small negotiations with companies and insurance agents in attempts to get you to sign off quickly. The settlements will not be very large, but they will take their portions, the insurance companies will not be overly charged, and you will not receive a lot. This essentially means the attorney can perform as little work as possible and still get a large return on his efforts. This is clearly not fair at all to victims of discrimination or anyone who comes to a firm seeking justice, and we consider this a clear case of bad faith behavior by such attorneys.
If you already have legal representation, your current attorney may be pressuring you into signing off on a tiny settlement that does not cover most of what you requested. He may also be dismissive or may not give you information when you call. A hard-to-reach attorney is very difficult to deal with, and often, they simply do not want to tell you that they have not done any work on your claim.
If you wish to speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your current legal situation, you can call us anytime for a free second opinion. We will tell you if we believe your current lawyer is doing everything in his power to secure you a settlement, or if he is simply trying to use you as a quick way to make money.
If you are not satisfied with your current attorney, you can make the switch to our firm completely free of charge. We will take over your claim and receive all of your evidence so that we can fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Victims of racial discrimination at work should not be mistreated by attorneys – the pain of the discrimination is already hard to bear, and further negative action can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Contact us to receive a free reevaluation of your case, and if you want to move to our firm, we’ll help so that the process is painless and simple.
The Best Employment Firm in Los Angeles
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is one of the most highly rated law firms in Southern California. We have a team of attorneys with decades of combined experience handling employment claims, and we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution for victims of racial discrimination. We know the best methods for success and will stop at nothing to negotiate the most worthwhile settlement for your case. Our lawyers are known for being aggressive and relentless in their pursuit of justice, and we are more than willing to go to court to defend your rights as a worker and as a human in front of a judge and jury.
If you want to discuss your case, call us today to set up a free legal consultation. All consultations are completely confidential and private. None of your personal details or case information will be shared anywhere outside of our office walls. You can also reach us any time of day – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We will gladly take your call, talk with you about your case, inform you about the legal process, tell you what we believe we can win for you, and answer all your questions.
Further, by hiring us, you will receive our zero fee guarantee on your claim. This means that at no point throughout the case will you be required to pay us any fees. We will only have our expenses covered if we win your case, and the money will be taken as a portion of the settlement we secure for you. If we lose, we do not receive any payment whatsoever, and you can walk away from our firm debt-free. Your finances will never change, and it is our goal to ensure that you do not sink into debts because you sought legal representation.
To file a racial discrimination lawsuit against your company, do not hesitate to call the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today. We are here to take your call, and you can immediately get started on a lawsuit with the help of an experienced racial discrimination attorney in Los Angeles.