We have struggled for centuries in this country with racial equality, a struggle that has manifested itself in employment. Connecticut was ahead of the federal government, passing the Fair Employment Practices Act in 1947, 17 years before Congress banned employment discrimination on the basis of race in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
However, discrimination still exists in this state. When it occurs, the law provides protection and a means of recourse.
Connecticut Racial Employment Discrimination Lawyer
An attorney dedicated to fighting for the rights of employees and potential employees who face negative decisions due to their race can assist you if you have been subjected to this treatment. A Hartford racial employment discrimination lawyer from Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can fight for the remedies available to you if you’ve been wrongfully terminated, passed over for promotion, unfairly disciplined, or faced harassment due to who you are.
If you believe you may have faced racial discrimination on the job, fill out our online form today. We represent clients throughout the state of Connecticut, including Milford, Manchester, Stamford, Waterbury, Fairfield, and Norwalk. We are based in Hartford.
Key Issues in a Race Discrimination Case
In a race discrimination case, there are certain key issues to look for. Your Hartford employment lawyer will review these facts:
- Have you been subjected to comments or “jokes” about race that make your workplace a hostile work environment?
- Did you face a negative employment decision (i.e. termination, layoff, demotions, being passed over for promotion or not hired) due to your race?
- Have other people of a different race with lesser qualifications been hired or promoted by the employer in question?
The above may indicate that the employer is violating the law.
Information on Racial Discrimination Law
Prohibition Against Racial Discrimination in Connecticut and Federal Law
The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA, found at Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60) prohibits employers from making a decision to hire or discharge or discriminate in compensation, conditions or privileges on the basis of several characteristics listed. Race is the first such prohibited basis. As long as your employer has at least three employees, it is covered by CFEPA.
Federal law also prohibits race-based discrimination in employment (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2) as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, federal law applies only to employers with 15 or more employees in each working day in 20 weeks in the past year.
Attorneys at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore are licensed and experienced in both state and federal court in Connecticut. They will carefully evaluate your case to determine which law and venue is most appropriate to pursue.
Race-Based Discrimination in Employment Decisions
Discrimination on the basis of race can be obvious, i.e., an employer informs a person he or she will not be hired because of his or her race. Most people, though, know that racism is unacceptable. Racial discrimination is often subtle and can be hidden in excuses.
For example, Richard is a busboy in a restaurant in Waterbury and is Latino. He has worked at the restaurant for two years, is punctual and organized, and has excellent customer service skills. An opening for server opens up, and Richard applies. Instead of hiring him, the manager hires John, a busboy who has worked at the restaurant for two months and is Anglo.
Richard confronts the manager to ask why he wasn’t offered the position. The manager says the community is “conservative,” that servers deal directly with a client and the clientele would be more comfortable with a waiter who “looked like them.” This is a thinly-veiled excuse for racially-based discrimination and is a violation of the law.
Employment decisions can include the decision to hire, fire, promote or demote someone.
Racist Harassment at the Workplace
Both state and federal law prohibit an employer creating or allowing a work environment that is hostile to a person based on his or her race. A workplace can be hostile if there are race-based insults, comments, epithets, slurs, “jokes,” pictures or drawings or any other form of communication in the environment. It may include comments that state or insinuate that members of a certain race are lazy, prone to crime, sexually promiscuous, intellectually inferior or any other negative trait.
In many cases, the person making such comments is not a supervisor, but another employee. In these cases, an employer has a responsibility to stop the acts once it becomes aware of them. Failing to do so is allowing racial discrimination.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Hartford Employment Attorney for Race Discrimination Cases
Racial discrimination in employment is illegal. If you have been subjected to a negative employment decision or harassment on the basis of your race in Connecticut, an attorney from Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can assist you. Fill out our online form today so we can review the details of your case.