Fighting for the rights of victims of race & color discrimination in New York


Although New York City is one of the most diverse places in the world, it is by no means free of racial discrimination. The lawyers at Akin Law Group are passionate about defending the rights of those who have faced race or color discrimination in the workplace. Nobody should have to put up with discrimination in the workplace. If you believe that you have been unlawfully discriminated against at work, call us at 212-825-1400 to set up a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.

The Law provides protection against Racial Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, § 296 of New York State Executive Law, and § 8-107 of theAdministrative Code of City of New York each provide protection to employees facing racial discrimination. With the passage of these laws, all aspects of your employment, including recruiting, hiring, advancement, termination, compensation, discipline, privileges and benefits are protected from racial discrimination in New York City, New York State and throughout the Country. These laws also prohibits harassment, such as the use of racial jokes, slurs, or intimidation and retaliation against those opposing their employer’s discriminatory acts.

Both race and color discrimination are covered under these statutes. Although race and color may overlap, they are by no means synonymous. Color discrimination can occur between individuals of different races/ethnicities, or between individuals of the same race/ethnicity. The statute does not provide a definition for the word “color,” but the courts define it as complexion, pigmentation, or skin tone. Therefore, color discrimination occurs when an individual faces discrimination on account of the color of his or her skin. Race discrimination concerns any characteristic that is associated, erroneously or not, with an individual’s race.

Overt forms of discrimination

What most readily comes to mind when we think of discrimination is overt discrimination, where an employer, manager, supervisor, or coworker openly mistreats an employee on the basis of race or color. If you have suffered derogatory language, threats, or tangible employment actions due to your race or color, contact us immediately. Our lawyers will fight to protect your right to work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.

Subtle forms of discrimination

It may not always be immediately obvious that you have been discriminated against. You may find yourself in a situation where you suspect that you have been treated unlawfully, but are unsure as to whether or not your concerns are valid.

A large amount of contemporary discrimination does not consist of overtly offensive beliefs, but rather subtle implicit attitudes that affect employment decisions. Over time, negative employment decisions accumulate and can have a devastating overall effect on an employee’s career. Because of subtle discriminatory actions, two individuals of different races who have the same amount of skill and experience can end up in very different places with the passage of time. Here are several examples of subtle actions and situations that may indicate unlawful racial discrimination:

  • Although you receive excellent reviews at work, you are consistently passed over for a promotion in favor of a less-qualified employee of a different race.
  • You are being compensated less than white employees who do the same work that you do.
  • When your employer downsizes, the majority of employees who are laid off are minorities.
  • Your company’s most valuable clients are always assigned to non-minority employees.
  • A colleague makes a discriminatory remark masked as a compliment, such as, “Asians are really good with numbers.”
  • During a job interview, an employer asks you questions about your race. Afterwards, you are not hired for the position.
  • Your boss harshly reprimands you for a mistake; another employee of a different race recently made the same one and did not face the same negative consequences.

If you believe that somebody at work is unlawfully discriminating against you, consider keeping a journal. An accurate record of the context and content of each incident can help you if you decide to file a complaint with a government agency or file a lawsuit. Because discrimination is often subtle, it may be difficult to determine whether you have a valid complaint. The experienced lawyers at Akin Law Group can help you better understand how your case will be viewed in court.

Segregation and classification of employees

According to federal, state, and city laws, employers cannot segregate minority employees by physically isolating them from other employees or from customer contact. It is illegal for employers to relegate members of a minority to specific jobs or to exclude them from certain positions. Here are several examples of unlawful segregation and classification:

  • Minorities are completely excluded from upper management roles at your workplace.
  • Your manager consistently assigns minority employees to the worst jobs.
  • When employees at your workplace receive assignments, minorities are consistently assigned to do projects in specific geographic areas.

If you suspect that your employer is illegally classifying and segregating employees according to race or color, contact Akin Law Group as soon as possible to find out more about your rights and options.

Retaliation from Employment Discrimination

Employees are often afraid to report instances or race and color discrimination because they are afraid of retaliation from their employers, supervisors, or coworkers. Moreover, they are afraid that they will be unable to prove that the discrimination occurred.

However, city, state, and federal laws protect employees who report discrimination in the workplace from retaliation. Even if an investigation finds no evidence that discriminatory conduct occurred, the individual who filed the complaint will remain protected. Regardless of whether the employee’s original claim was proven valid, employers who are found guilty of retaliation may be liable for considerable damages.

Illegal discrimination in the workplace

If you have faced discrimination or harassment at your workplace, tell a supervisor or your human resources department about the situation right away. Once your employer is aware of the discrimination, it must conduct a swift and impartial investigation; if evidence of racial discrimination is found, the employer is required to take action to prevent it in the future.

If you have reported an incident of discrimination, but your employer failed to act in a timely and appropriate manner, then you may want to consider taking legal action. Through legal action, you can recover damages for your emotional suffering, front pay, back pay, lawyer’s fees, and expert witness fees. Your employer may also be required to change their discrimination policies, provide additional training to employees, and report future discrimination complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Filing a lawsuit can be a complicated process, and you should search for an attorney with ample experience with city, state, and federal employment law. The lawyers at Akin Law Group have extensive knowledge about the law, and a track record of success in the courtroom. Our lawyers can help you better understand the legal implications of your case, and provide you with advice about how to proceed.

Call our NYC law firm for a free initial consultation about your racial discrimination claim

The New York City lawyers at the Akin Law Group recognize how difficult it can be to do your work effectively when you feel belittled or mistreated by those around you. Don’t put up with the discrimination – contact us today to find out what you can do to put an end to your employer’s unlawful activity. Call us at 212-825-1400 for a Free and Confidential consultation.