Even in 2017, racial discrimination remains a major problem in the workplace.
Two New Jersey women are suing Fox News Channel after what they described as “yearslong relentless racial” hostility from a financial executive that worked with them. The executive, Judith Slater, is accused of various racially charged actions including, but not limited to, asking one of the women if all three of her children had the same father, talking about how black people scare her, mocking the “Black Lives Matter” movement and having the employees repeat words that she thought black people pronounce incorrectly.
Slater was fired in February following the allegations.
The lawsuit says that Fox “intentionally turned a blind eye” to an office culture of hostility toward minorities until they became aware that they could no longer keep it contained. Fox commented on the lawsuit, calling it “needless litigation.”
Race Discrimination in New Jersey Workplaces
State law prohibits employers in New Jersey from discriminating against employees based on race, ethnicity or national origin, among others.
When an individual believes that employment discrimination has taken place, he or she may file a complaint to the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, the Division of Civil Rights. The individual can additionally file a complaint with the federal government through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Before deciding who to file a complaint with, it is recommended to discuss your case with legal counsel.
To succeed in your claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, you need to prove four things:
- The employee is in a protected class (in these cases, race, ethnicity and national origin are all protected)
- The employee was working up to the legitimate expectations of the employer
- The employee suffered adverse job action
- The employee was either replaced by an employee who was not in the protected class, or that the adverse job action was directly related to the employee’s protected status.
If you suffer race discrimination at work, it is important to act quickly. There is a two-year statute of limitations on these cases, meaning you only have two years before you lose the ability to fight back against the discriminatory employer.