Michigan Racial Discrimination Attorneys
Across the United States, multiple federal, state, and local laws prohibit racial discrimination in the workplace. This is true whether you are an employee, contractor, or job applicant. Every worker has the legal right to equal opportunities and treatment. But when you are at the receiving end of unfair treatment, it can be difficult to understand which actions qualify as discrimination and your options.
You may hesitate to report discrimination, fearing retaliation or negative effects to your reputation or career – but waiting too long can mean losing the opportunity to file a complaint or recover compensation.
The talented team of employment lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. understands the sensitive nature of employment disputes. If you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, or any other related characteristic, we want to help. Sommers Schwartz, P.C. is committed to fighting for Michigan workers and ensuring that worker complaints are taken seriously.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Employment discrimination occurs when an employee is singled out and treated differently than other employees. Multiple federal, state, and local laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on perceived characteristics, including race, religion, sex, disability, and more.
Discrimination based on race can take myriad forms, including:
- Refusing to hire an applicant.
- Pay disparity.
- Segregating or separating employees.
- Failing to promote.
- Lack of appropriate training opportunities.
- Harassment from management or other employees.
- Retaliating against complaints.
- Participating in an investigation regarding discrimination or harassment.
- Disciplinary action and/or termination.
Racial discrimination can take many forms, from jokes and bullying to termination. It may be based on a person’s perceived skin color, hair, physical features, attire, national origin, speech, mannerisms, etc. If you have been the victim of harassment or unfair treatment because of your perceived race or race-related characteristics, contact our attorneys immediately to learn more about your options.
Federal and State Racial Discrimination Laws
Federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit employers from using race as a factor in any employment decision. Furthermore, Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate based on religion, race, sex, age, marital status, disability, and arrest record, among others.
Discrimination Complaint Process
If you believe you are the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, your options for filing a complaint may include:
1. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR)
While filing a discrimination complaint with the MDCR is not a lawsuit, having an experienced discrimination attorney by your side is crucial to a favorable outcome. Keep in mind that the MDCR is an administrative agency and does not represent you.
Be sure to file your MDCR complaint within 180 days of the discriminatory act. After conducting an impartial investigation, MDCR may hold a conference with both parties to find a resolution.
2. The United States Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC enforces federal laws against workplace discrimination. From the date of the discriminatory incident, a victim in Michigan typically has 300 days to file a complaint. Depending on each individual’s unique situation, they may have to receive a Notice of Right to Sue from EEOC before bringing a lawsuit to court.
3. Legal Claims and Damages for Employment Discrimination
If a Notice of Right to Sue is required, the employee has 90 days from receipt of this notice to file a lawsuit. Having an experienced Michigan employment lawyer by your side throughout this process can dramatically improve the outcome of your case.
If you have suffered race discrimination in the workplace, you may be eligible to receive compensation for:
- Lost income.
- Lost benefits or pension.
- Emotional pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages.
Contact a Michigan Discrimination Attorney at Sommers Schwartz, P.C.
If you have been discriminated against due to race, color, ethnicity, or national origin, the legal team at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., can help. Our Michigan employment law attorneys will work tirelessly to resolve your case outside of court, but we are prepared to go to trial if necessary. Don’t suffer in silence for one more day — let the team at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., fight for your rights. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 783-0989.