What is Actual v. Perceived Race Discrimination?

Race discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently because of his or her race. No matter what your race might be, you cannot be treated differently at your job. Actual race discrimination occurs when the terms and conditions of a job are different based on race. Perceived race discrimination occurs when others treat you differently because they think that you are a different race when you are not a member of it. Both actual and perceived racial discrimination in the workplace are prohibited under local, state, and federal laws. The experienced employment discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown Law P.C. are focused on advocating for workers who are the victims of all types of workplace discrimination, including discrimination based on actual or perceived race.

Employment lawyers protecting the rights of workers in New York City

While workplace race discrimination is illegal, it remains a pervasive problem. No matter what your race might be, your employer cannot treat you differently based on your real or perceived race. If you are the victim of race discrimination or harassment, your employer must investigate your complaint and take steps to remedy the situation. When an employer allows race discrimination to continue or gives you different terms and conditions of employment than others of the dominant race do not have in their jobs, you may have legal rights to recover damages. At Leeds Brown Law P.C., our employment discrimination attorneys might fight for you if you have been the victim of race discrimination at your job in New York City.

What is actual vs. perceived race discrimination?

When you are treated differently because of your actual race at your job, it is actual race discrimination. This occurs when an employer has different conditions and terms of employment for members of a particular race than the conditions and terms that others have at their jobs. For example, if you are turned down for a job because you are Asian in favor of someone who is white and less-qualified for the position, actual race discrimination has occurred. Similarly, if you are black and turned down for a promotion because your boss does not believe that black people are good supervisors, that is also actual race discrimination.

Perceived race discrimination is also prohibited under the laws. This occurs when you are treated differently at your job because others perceive that you are of a different race when you are not. For example, if you have a darker skin tone and a long beard, your supervisor and coworkers might treat you differently because they believe that you are from a Middle Eastern country when you are not. While you may not be a member of the minority race that you are perceived to be, your employer’s differential treatment of you based on your perceived race is still prohibited race discrimination.

Harassment based on your real or perceived race is a form of illegal workplace discrimination. Harassment can include racial slurs or jokes, but they must rise to such a level that the workplace environment is hostile. To constitute unlawful harassment, offhand remarks and teasing must be frequent or severe enough to make the workplace environment so hostile that a reasonable person would be unable to perform the functions of his or her job. It can also constitute unlawful harassment when it is serious enough to result in an adverse job action such as a job termination based on your race.

Perceived or actual race discrimination is illegal even when the victim and the perpetrator are the same race. It does not matter if the perpetrator of race discrimination shares the same race as the victim.

Consult with an experienced race discrimination lawyer in New York City

You might not be certain whether you have grounds to file a race discrimination claim against your employer when your supervisors and coworkers treat you differently based on your perceived race. At Leeds Brown Law P.C., our attorneys can review the facts and circumstances of what has occurred and give you an honest assessment of your claim. If we agree to accept representation of your case, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf to recover damages and to hold your employer accountable for the wrongful conduct that has occurred. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form or calling us to schedule a confidential consultation so you can learn more about your rights and your potential claim.

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