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Monday, July 5, 2021

NJ Employment Discrimination Attorney-I’m Being called Racist Names at Work in the Face of Juneteenth

In this year 2021, Black employees at work may experience racism that is blatantly horribly racist, which happens much more frequently than many Caucasian people find believable. Unfortunately, being called the n-word by supervisors and/or co-workers still happens too frequently especially in blue collar and physical labor jobs. I have filed lawsuits on behalf of workers who were called the n-word and other racist epithets at work and was successful in recovering money to compensate them for their pain and suffering.

Black employees of all levels may experience discrimination at work in spite of attempts to raise awareness about the struggles of Blacks such as the recent commemoration of Juneteenth as a national holiday, the first time celebrated as a Federal holiday was June 19, 2021. Juneteenth marks June 19, 1865 when Black slaves in Texas were told about their freedom, however at that point the 13th Amendment had not been ratified.

More common today is less blatantly racist acts by employers, who while speaking civilly to all employees, may determine pay scales, offer training for advancement, allocate job assignments,  offer benefits and promotions in manner that is disparate based on race and which practices are illegal.

Some Black employees may not be aware that they are being paid less than others who are non-Blacks for doing essentially the same job. Some unscrupulous businesses used to state in their employee handbooks that workers were prohibited from discussing their pay with other employees and if they do discuss, it could be grounds for termination. The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act incorporated into the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination at N.J.S.A. 10:5-12 et seq., states in part that it is illegal for an employer to have such a prohibition.

This legislation is an attempt to eradicate discrimination in wages based not only on race but other protected classes such as gender and ethnicity. While an employee is not under any legal duty to disclose his/her rate of pay etc., to another employee if asked to do so, an employer can not prohibit an employee from asking another employee, or entering into a discussion with another employee, about their rate of compensation or benefits. If a plaintiff can prove that the employer retaliated against him for doing so, the plaintiff is entitled to treble benefits under the statute.

It is illegal under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination at N.J.S.A. 10:5-12 (r): for any employer “to take reprisals against any employee for requesting from, discussing with, or disclosing to, any other employee or former employee of the employer, a lawyer from whom the employee seeks legal advice, or any government agency information regarding the job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation, including benefits, of the employee or any other employee or former employee of the employer, or the gender, race, ethnicity, military status, or national origin of the employee or any other employee or former employee of the employer, regardless of whether the request was responded to, or to require, as a condition of employment, any employee or prospective employee to sign a waiver, or to otherwise require an employee or prospective employee to agree, not to make those requests or disclosures. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require an employee to disclose such information about the employee herself to any other employee or former employee of the employer or to any authorized representative of the other employee or former employee.”

As to the background history of Juneteenth, in 1863, as the nation approached its third year of civil war, President Abraham Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery throughout the nation. The Emancipation Proclamation had to be followed by a constitutional amendment in order to guarantee the abolishment of slavery. The 13th Amendment was necessary because the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln in January of 1863, did not end slavery entirely; those enslaved in border states had not been freed. It also did not address the issue of slavery in territories that would become states in the future. Northern states controlled the the U.S. Congress late in the Civil War and proposed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery throughout the country. But several states rejected it, and the adoption 13th Amendment had to wait for the re-admission of southern states into the Union in the months following the end of the war. It was not until the ratification of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865, that slavery was abolished by law.

Don’t sit on your rights!

If you are experiencing being called the n-word or other racist epithets at work you should contact this office immediately. I have filed lawsuits on behalf of workers who were called the n-word and other racist epithets at work and was successful in recovering money to compensate them for their pain and suffering.

If you think your employer is violating the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act or is discriminating against you, you should call this office today. I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing persons who were subjected to pay discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation in the workplace and/or were fired. If you have experienced racism at work, or if you reported it and no action was taken, if you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be fired, or have been fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in employment discrimination.

If you are being subjected to workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in southern, central, western and northern NJ to meet with clients.

 


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