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Monday, October 25, 2021

NJ Employment Law Attorney-Employee Rights Can Be Diminished by Voter Suppression

Persons sometimes think that the issue of voting rights has no direct bearing on them personably. These are typically persons who have not experienced their names being wrongly purged from voter registration lists, nor prevented from voting, or having their votes not be counted by other unanticipated voter suppression methods. However, when you cast your vote for elected officials, you are casting your vote for your representatives who will draft, promote and vote on passing laws that expand your rights as an employee or diminish them. These are laws that establish rights for employees who are members of a protected class, such as race, gender, disability, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, members of the Armed Forces, etc. The laws also define the classes that are legally protected from job discrimination. The laws your elected representative pass also set the minimum wage, overtime rules, and other wage payment and protections.

After the US Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, organized voter suppression of persons of certain economic classes and communities of color has steadily increased. This was especially true during the 2020 election cycle and the glut of bills in 2021 aimed at restricting voting of certain populations.

The election cycle of 2020 was marred by aggressive actions to restrict or disqualify votes of certain targeted groups. Minorities and communities of color generally vote for representatives who want to further civil rights which naturally include their employment civil rights. Public statements were made by persons involved in implementing voting procedures in which they acknowledged that the aim of the new voting laws and procedures was to exclude certain people to bring about specific desired outcomes of an election. Outrageously, in defending two new restrictive state voting laws, the attorney for the state argued to the Supreme Court that the purpose of the new restrictive voting laws was to not have a disadvantage relative to the other major political party. The same reason was voiced as a reason to not allow early voting and not allowing vote by mail - the persons and strategic planners wanted to restrict the votes of everyone they thought would not vote the way that they hoped for - not because the voting would be fraudulent.

These aggressive attempts at targeted voted suppression included eliminating polling places in poorer neighborhoods, removal of vast numbers of mail boxes for mail-in votes, reduction in the hours to vote which causes many lower income persons to be unable to vote if they work swing shifts or graveyard shifts or as they travel from one job to another, the  removal of ballot boxes outside of work buildings where they had historically stood, where workers could drop them off without having to travel to a polling place, and misinformation about whether one is still registered. In some states, people went to the polling place they had gone to before to vote,  only to find they were denied the right to vote because their names had been purged from being an eligible voter due to the fact they had skipped voting in some elections.

Black Voter Suppression in the 20 and 21st Centuries by Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering was another form of voter suppression in the 1900's and it has continued into the 21st century. By gerrymandering, states may engage in this form of targeted voter suppression by dividing or arranging a territorial unit into election districts in a way that gives one race an unfair advantage. Gerrymandering can dilute the targeted group of the full power of their vote, effectively being a form of voter suppression. Through algorithms, it can be a divide-and-conquer strategy, using mathematical solutions to review the demographics of a state and review where communities of color reside in a particular area distributed throughout the state, to change the boundaries of the districts.

Gerrymandering can lead to having districts with their lines drawn for per capita head count for where persons of color can be concentrated to achieve an end of a desired head count per capita per district for elected representation and so limit to one or two districts for their voting impact.

Every 10 years, every state in the US redraws its electoral districts. These “districts” are lines on a map which have serious real-world consequences. If districts are drawn fairly, then the public can elect representatives who reflect the views of the population as a whole. But if through partisan gerrymandering, the district lines are manipulated to favor one racial group or political party over another, then the legislature will not reflect the popular will of the voters.

Partisan gerrymandering can limit voting rights of a certain class by race through planned voter suppression by targeting the communities that will result in reducing the voting power of persons of color.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act aims to restore the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965. Full protection for your voting rights can ultimately affect your rights as an employee. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act aims to restore the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965 throughout the United States. Unfortunately, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate.         

If You Experience Discrimination in Your Workplace

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing persons who were subjected to 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 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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