Race Discrimination at Work

Employment Lawyers - Race Discrimination at Work

Our Philadelphia employment law firm accepts race discrimination cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Find out if you have legal rights for race discrimination at work, whether by a co-worker or supervisor. Contact our employment law firm for a free, no obligation consultation.

Race Discrimination at Work in Pennsylvania

Employers in Pennsylvania are prohibited from discriminating against employees and people seeking jobs on the basis of race, color, religion, gender or national origin. The applicable federal law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the state law is the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA).

Latest Race Discrimination News

Tesla is facing a racial harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the EEOC in September 2023. The suit alleges that black Tesla employees were subjected to vulgar slurs, racial abuse, pervasive stereotyping, and hostility. The suit also alleges that the company retaliated against those who objected to the behavior in the firm of terminations, changes in job duties, transfers, and other adverse employment actions. Read the September 2023 EEOC news release: EEOC Sues Tesla for Racial Harassment and Retaliation.

Koller Law’s Race Discrimination Case Results

· $200K Race Discrimination Trial Verdict Against an Online University – African American client was terminated after reporting race discrimination by supervisor

· $140K Race Discrimination Settlement in NE Pennsylvania – Hispanic client was terminated

· $100K Race Discrimination Case in Pennsylvania – African American client was terminated after being subjected to a racial slur

Federal Law: Unlawful Employment Practices

Title VII outlines illegal employer conduct, 42 U.S. Code § 2000e–2(a):

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer—

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin…[*remaining sections omitted]

It’s important to note that federal and Pennsylvania race discrimination employment laws apply to employers of specific sizes. Title VII applies to employers employing at least 15 employees, and the PHRA applies to employers employing at least 4 employees.

Race Discrimination Lawsuit Spotlight

Koller Law represented an African American employee who was terminated after receiving a racist voicemail from a member of management. Koller Law defeated the defendant/employer’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and ultimately, the case settled for a significant sum.

July 2021 Pennsylvania Race Discrimination News: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Employee in Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Kengerski v. Harper, 3d Cir., July 31, 2021

A white law enforcement employee was fired 7 months after reporting racially offensive comments and texts made by coworkers about a biracial relative. The Third Circuit vacated the lower court’s ruling that a white employee could not maintain a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,

“Title VII protects all employees from retaliation when they reasonably believe that behavior at their work violates the statute and they make a good-faith complaint.  As relevant here, harassment against an employee because he associates with a person of another race, such as a family member, may violate Title VII by creating a hostile work environment.”

Race Discrimination

Race discrimination can be committed by managers, supervisors, co-workers, etc. Below are common examples of illegal race discrimination in the workplace:

  • Firing, demotion or lack of advancement (promotion)
  • Discipline
  • Harassment
  • Unequal pay
  • Policies that negatively affect a protected class

Race Discrimination & Retaliation

It’s unlawful under both federal and Pennsylvania law for an employer to retaliate against an employee who reports race discrimination or otherwise participates in an investigation or proceeding related to race discrimination.

Examples of Retaliation at Work

An employee in Philadelphia is terminated after filing a report of race discrimination.

An employee in Allentown is demoted after testifying in an EEOC investigation into race discrimination practices.

Proving Retaliation

In order to prove retaliation, the employee must prove the following:

  1. the employee engaged in activity protected by Title VII,
  2. the employer took an adverse employment action against the employee, and
  3. a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.

Race Discrimination News: August 2021, Race Discrimination Lawsuit Against Construction Company Nets $420K for Black Employees [Multiple black employees of a construction company were subjected to disgusting racial harassment by white employees.]

About Koller Law Employment Lawyers

For decades, we’ve been handling employment law cases, including race discrimination, for workers across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Koller Law is not run like every other firm – we provide the compassionate, individual attention employees need and deserve.

Call us at (215) 545-8917 or contact us to schedule a confidential case review today!

Last updated: December 22, 2023

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For over 10 years, firm founder David Koller has been recognized as a “Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Philadelphia” by Super Lawyers.

Koller Law - In the News

Koller Law’s employment cases and founder David Koller have been featured in national and local media. Learn more.

(March 14, 2021)
A Pa. mom says her boss forced her out of her job during the pandemic. She sued.

It’s close to impossible for many parents to work and also care for young children, said Philadelphia employment lawyer David Koller, who represents Delaney.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, effective March 2020, required employers to provide paid sick leave and paid leave to care for children whose schools had closed due to the pandemic. Employees who suffered demotions, lost pay, terminations or other negative consequences at work may be able to make a claim under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.


Get help now from our highly rated employment lawyers.

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