Protecting Your Rights At Work

Defending Against Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is unwelcome, severe or pervasive behavior toward a person based on his or her race or ethnic origin that may create "an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, or interfere with the individual's work performance" according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact the law offices of Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo LLC if you have been a victim of racial harassment in New Jersey. Victims of racial harassment typically feel rejected, uneasy, unable to function properly, hurt and humiliated.

What Does Racial Harassment Look Like?

Racial harassment is a violation of federal and state law and occurs in the workplace when a person or group of people continually depict signs of intolerance against another based on that person's color, culture, descent, language or religion. Such misconduct may be verbal, physical, written, or visual. For example, it can include perpetual race-based jokes, threats, comments about clothing or hairdo, inappropriate touching, intimidation, ridicule, derogatory facial expressions of a racial nature, drawings, remarks about one's accent, or emails of a racial nature.

Minority Status Not Required

Racial harassment can occur with any race and victims do not necessarily have to be among a minority group. The harasser can also be of the same race as the victim, so long as the harasser is distressing the sufferer in a way that he or she would not do to someone of a different race. Additionally, considering race as a factor in hiring, firing, promotions, job advancements, and raises is a form of racial discrimination and is illegal. Any victim of racial harassment should document and report the behavior to a supervisor immediately. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against someone for reporting such misconduct. The employer has a legal responsibility to prevent and stop such misconduct from occurring.

Reach out to our office today at 973-542-2766, to speak to our experienced employment lawyer, Alan Genitempo, or use our online contact form. We can advise you as to the best course of action.