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How do I prove racial discrimination case at my workplace?

Macon, GA |

I am a Afro American contact installer where the white contract installer are paid 2 week out and the only black worker is paid 3 to 4 weeks out also the whites have dedicated areas to work each day and I have a be the fall guy when they take off ( Meaning the white guys jobs are less to 15 miles apart and mine are 40 to 60 miles apart) Also the whites are able to turn in paper work at the office and have it process to be paid on time and I the black worker has to take my paper work home to do each night if I want to be paid.

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Attorney answers 3


There are indications of possible racial discrimination. You have provided a "snapshot" of what is going on, but far more information is needed. The reason that I do not sound more enthusiastic abot a charge of discrimination is because a full analysis is needed. In order for you to be able to viably charge that race is the motivating factor, we have to be able to rule out other possibilities. For instance, let's say that the other employees have been working there for many years and you are a new employee -- it would not be surprising under those circumstances for there to be some difference in treatment.

You need to consult with a local attorney who has substantial experience in employment law. In doing so, you must lay out all of the pertinent facts, not just those that seem to support a claim of discrimination.

Bear in mind that there are deadlines for charges to be filed. The EEOC requires that charges be filed within six months of the date of the discrimination, but that is extended to 300 days in states in which there is a human rights agency and state laws proscribing the sort of discrimination involved. There are also state-law deadlines that will apply.

Good luck to you.

Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.


You should definitely take your facts to a GA attorney, because your version of the story sounds potentially actionable.

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Several thoughts ... First, I agree with the other comments, but I'd like to extend them a bit. Second, I am truly sorry you are going through this; even if you are not being discriminated against because of your race, believing that might be possible is probably churning your stomach.

But to give you more to chew on ... Whenever someone is thinking about suing, you have to weigh the personal toll of a possible lawsuit (or even complaining about a work relaed issue) against the likelihood that doing so, in the short term, might cost you your job. We live in a free market society and, when it comes to employment, you have the right to move on to a place where you feel that you are treated better -- this is true regardless of whether or not you are actually being discriminated against.

You asked how do you prove ... I really cannot give you a clear answer. History is important. The reasons given for actions are important. Whether or not you suffer economic harm is important. The relationship between the other installer and the owner is important (the owner might give the other installer extra benefits because of length with the company or production or they are best friends ... etc.). You see, you CAN be treated differently on the job; you have to prove the reason you are treated differently is BECAUSE of race, not that your race is incidental to the different treatment.

Normally, I try to give advice in these web exchanges. I cannot do this in your case (except as limited to the above). You may want to pay an attorney to meet with an attorney to discuss your situation in more detail (however, the lack of any description of any economic loss you are suffering suggests that your case MAY not be worth it for you to pursue). Don't know. The best I can do, then, is wish you the best of luck and hope that your concerns fade with time.

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