New York City Race Discrimination Lawyer

New York and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee because of his or her race.  Racial discrimination in employment can exist in two forms, (1) intentional and (2) disparate impact.

Intentional Race Discrimination

Intentional race discrimination exists when an employer, supervisor or co-worker deliberately discriminates against an employee because of their race.  It requires an adverse employment action.  For example, an employee is not hired or not promoted because of their race. Or they earn less than other employees because of their race.  Calling someone a racially derogatory name or telling racist jokes in the workplace is good evidence of intentional racial discrimination.  

When a company does nothing to stop racist behavior in the workplace, particularly after complaints have been made to human resources or higher level supervisors, the company’s failure to act can constitute evidence of race discrimination.  If a person is fired for making such complaints, they could have a good claim for unlawful retaliation.

Disparate Impact Race Discrimination

Disparate impact race discrimination exists when facially neutral policies, practices or rules have the effect of discriminating against members of a particular race and there is no reasonable justification for the policy, practice or rule.  For example, if the employer requires a test of some kind to be considered for hire or promotion, and employees of one race score significantly below employees of another race, the test may have an unlawful disparate impact. To withstand a claim about the test being racially discriminatory, the employer must show that the test is both “reliable” and “valid.”

“Reliability” refers to the test being an accurate measurement of something.  A test is not reliable if it does not produce stable and consistent results.  In other words, if you repeatedly test the same person with the same test and wildly different scores result, the test is not reliable.

A test’s “validity” refers to the test measuring something that makes a difference in being able to actually perform the responsibilities of the job.  To be valid, the test must measure something that relates to the qualifications and tasks of the job.  In simple terms, a test to see if one can lift 100 pounds when the job only requires that you lift 50 pounds, would not be a valid test.  

If you think you have been the victim of race discrimination Cary Kane’s attorneys are here to help.  Call (212) 868-6300 to schedule an appointment.  The consultation is free.

Race Discrimination Laws and Protections in New York

People living and working in New York City are protected from race discrimination through various laws. Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, prohibits employment discrimination based on either race or color.  While this statue is an old one, today it is frequently the basis of a claim.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also provides protections to workers by outlawing race, color and national origin discrimination.  Getting good legal counsel is important to protecting your rights.  Your attorney can help you select where to file a complaint given that several agencies exist to help employees in this area:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this federal agency investigates claims of discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC can issue a “right to sue” letter that allows you to go into federal court to sue the employer.
  • New York State Division of Human Rights – it enforces state discrimination laws, but one has the right to go directly into state court.
  • New York City Commission on Civil Rights – You must work in New York City to be protected.   You are not required to utilize all administrative avenues prior to filing a legal claim.

Call a Race Discrimination Attorney in New York City Today

Our legal team at Cary Kane is available to help you understand your rights if you think you are a victim of race discrimination.  The consultation is free.  Call us at (212) 868-6300 to discuss your claim.


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