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Monday, March 14, 2022

NJ Race Discrimination Attorney, Black and Hispanic Essential Workers in Pandemic

Black and Hispanic workers are over represented in numerous industries considered to be essential services during the pandemic. Yet Black and Hispanic workers are disproportionately working in some of the lowest paid of these essential occupations. It is even more troubling that even within these already low paying occupations, frequently below a livable wage, workers are sometimes discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity. These may include packers and packagers, laborers in freight and stock, janitors, transportation and building cleaners, warehouse workers,  grocery store clerks, childcare workers, personal care aides and others.

In New Jersey, if you are a member of a racial or ethnic class paid less than your co-workers who are in a different class, for doing substantially the same job as they are doing, you may have an unequal pay and wage claim under the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act. If you are being paid less than others not in your class, you could be entitled to treble damages under the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act. If you believe your employer is discriminating against you because you are a member of a protected class such as race, ethnicity, sex age, disability etc., you should contact this office immediately. I am successful in filing lawsuits on behalf of workers who were discriminated against in wages and in recovering money to compensate them.

Disproportionate Persons of Color in Low Paying Essential Services

Nationally, of the 100% of the freight and stock laborers and hand material movers in all grocery, convenience and drug stores, these total number of frontline workers constitute 6.5% of that particular workforce in all combined stores. Yet persons of color constitute 42.1% of that particular 6.5% workforce in all combined stores.

This disproportionate over-representation of persons of color is true in many other lower paying essential industries.

For example, in the building/cleaning service industry alone:

  • Janitors and building cleaners comprise 44.7% of workers in the building/cleaning service industry, but persons of color comprise 62.5% of the workers in this frontline industry.
  • Housekeeping and janitorial workers constitute only 8.9% in this building/cleaning service industry, but persons of color constitute five times that demographic, i.e., 45% working in this frontline industry are persons of color.
  • Maids and cleaners comprise 23.7%, but persons of color constitute about three time that demographic, i.e., 69.8% of all maids and cleaners in this essential industry are persons of color.
  • While laundry workers constitute a mere 1.7%, persons of color constitute 43% of all such laundry workers.
  • Cleaners in travel service is less than 1%, i.e., only .6% of entire number of workers in this frontline industry, but persons of color constitute over half of that workforce, they constitute 56.6% of those working within that .6%.
  • In healthcare, the lowest paid of essential workers are typically home health aides and here the disparity is even more significant. While home healthcare aides comprise only 2.7% of the total health care workers, persons of color represent almost 60% of all home health aides.

In child care and social services, child care workers comprise 22.8% of the total, but persons of color so employed are approximately double that amount. Likewise, personal care aids in child care and social services, comprise 11.6% the workforce, but of that 11.6% in that workforce, 56.2% of them are persons of color.                

Don’t sit on your rights!

If you believe your employer is discriminating against you because you are a member of a protected class such as race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability etc., you should contact this office immediately to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

If You Have Been Suspended, Had Your Hours Slashed, or Were Terminated or Threatened with Termination

If you have been suspended, had your hours slashed, or were terminated or threatened with termination for demanding wage and overtime pay for which you are entitled, 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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