Race Discrimination

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With the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008, one might think that prejudice and bigotry in America’s companies would be eradicated.  However, statistics show – both before and after the election – a climb in the number of reported cases.  Unfortunately, racial and ethnic bias still exists today, leaving many African American and other minority workers unemployed, mistreated and disadvantaged.

An employer may not discharge you, fail to or refuse to hire you, or discriminate against you in regard to your compensation or the terms and conditions of your job based upon race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.  (MCL 37.2202(1)(a))

Your employer may be held liable for racial discrimination if you can show the following:

  • You are in a protected class (e.g., African American);
  • You are qualified to do your job;
  • You were subjected to adverse employment action (i.e., firing, demotion, failure to be hired or promoted, unequal pay, etc.);
  • You were treated differently than similarly situated (Caucasian) employees.

If these apply to you or your employment, you are entitled to collect damages, including:

  • Reinstatement of employment;
  • Payment of back wages;
  • Full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights;
  • Actual damages; and
  • Attorney fees.

It is important to keep in mind that under state law a race discrimination lawsuit may be filed within three (3) years from the date of the discrimination or adverse employment action.  However, the time to file a charge or complaint may be reduced to 300 days or 6 months if you wish to proceed in federal court.  Consequently, time can certainly be of the essence!

If you feel that you have been passed over, provided unequal pay, terminated or simply did not get a job because of your race, then call Vince Colella, an aggressive, skilled, knowledgeable trial lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping Michigan’s workers, toll free at 1.800.MUSTWIN or at 248.945.0100.

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