It is an unfortunate fact that many people are subject to discriminatory comments in the workplace due to their race or national origin. While discrimination based on a protected class, such as race or national origin, is unlawful, discriminatory comments in and of themselves may not be actionable, if they are not made by a person with authority to impact the victim’s employment. This was discussed in a recent case ruled on by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, in which the plaintiff alleged he was subject to employment discrimination based on his race. If you are subjected to discriminatory comments or actions in the workplace, it is sensible to meet with a skillful New York race discrimination attorney to discuss whether you may be able to pursue claims against your employer.
It is reported that the plaintiff, who was from Puerto Rico, worked as a newspaper feeder for the defendant company. His co-workers routinely made derogatory comments regarding his race. Following a dispute with a co-worker, he was terminated. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging numerous claims, including a claim of race and national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, alleging in part that the plaintiff had not set forth sufficient facts to sustain his Title VII claim.
Race Discrimination Under Title VII
Title VII provides that employers are prohibited from discriminating against any person with respect to the terms, conditions, compensation, or privileges of employment because of the person’s race, national origin, and other protected classes. In order to plead a prima facie case of discrimination, a plaintiff must show that he or she was a member of a protected class and that he or she was qualified for the job in question. The plaintiff must also show that he or she suffered an adverse employment action and that there is at least minimal evidence that would allow for the inference that the employer was motivated by discriminatory intent in taking the adverse employment action against the plaintiff.