If you have been discriminated against as a job applicant or otherwise because of your race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, you have recourse under both state and federal law. Race discrimination is prohibited in all aspects of employment, such as hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, raises, layoffs, training, and benefits.
It is also illegal to harass a person because of his or her race. Harassment can include offensive or derogatory comments or jokes about a person’s race if those comments are so frequent or severe that they create a hostile or offensive work environment. And, if you complain about such behavior, and then your employment suffers, that is called retaliation and it is a separate basis for bringing legal action against the person who engaged in such behavior or even your employer if they permitted it to occur or did nothing about it.
Some examples of race discrimination follow:
- You have done your job as well or better than co-workers of different races, but you are paid less, denied a promotion, demoted, laid off, or fired
- Your boss or co-workers make racial jokes about you or in front of you and otherwise make comments about your race
- You applied for a job, but the employer hired an applicant of another race even though you were more qualified
- An employer has refused to hire you based on a criminal conviction, but the employer cannot show that refusing to hire people with convictions is job related and consistent with business necessity
Employees should be treated fairly regardless of their race and color. Attorney David Cole served for approximately eight years as a Commissioner on New Hampshire’s Commission for Human Rights, the state agency that enforces New Hampshire’s discrimination laws in the workplace, and has aggressively advocated for victims of illegal race discrimination and harassment in the workplace for 30 years.
If you or someone you know is in need of legal assistance because they are the victim of race discrimination, call our office at 800-909-LAWS (5297) or submit an online questionnaire through this website. All cases are subject to a statute of limitations that limit the dates within which a lawsuit may be brought, and discrimination cases in particular have very short statutes of limitation, some as short as six months, so call without delay to ensure you do not waive your right to bring a lawsuit to enforce your rights.