Racial Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted by Congress to help achieve equality of employment opportunities for all Americans.  However, even in today’s society, race discrimination remains prevalent. The Briggs Law Firm, located in Greenville, South Carolina, is committed to combatting race discrimination in your workplace.

Types of Racial Discrimination:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for an employer to “discriminate against any individual concerning his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

In South Carolina and throughout the United States, race discrimination takes many forms including, but not limited to:

  • Termination of Employment
  • Denial of a Promotion
  • Pay Disparity
  • Racial Slurs in the Workplace
  • Denial of training or Opportunities

As recently as 2018, JPMorgan Chase & Co. paid $24 million to settle claims for racial discrimination. In the lawsuit it was alleged that “uniform and national in scope” discrimination against African American financial advisors took place including assigning them to a more impoverished bank branch, understaffing them, and failing to include them in programs for the more affluent clients. 

Proving Racial Discrimination in South Carolina:

In South Carolina and other states, racial discrimination may be established through direct or circumstantial evidence.  Direct evidence is when you can show a specific link between the perception and the adverse employment action that is sufficient to support that an illegitimate criterion was the motivator in the act. For example, if a manager admits that he fired you because of your race.

Direct evidence is scarce, so many racial discrimination lawsuits are proven by circumstantial evidence.  The case of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), is typically the framework used for circumstantial evidence and you, as the discrimination plaintiff must show that:

  • You are a member of a protected class of people
  • You suffered an adverse employment action
  • The unfavorable action gives rise to an inference of discrimination

“An individual plaintiff may establish a prima facie case by ‘showing actions taken by the employer from which one can infer, if such actions remain unexplained, that it is more likely than not such actions were based on a discriminatory criterion illegal under’ Title VII” ‘not intended to be an inflexible rule’” Young v United Parcel Serv., Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1338 1353 (2015).   

Once you and your South Carolina employment attorney establish a prima facie case for your discrimination, the burden then shifts to your employer to give a legitimate, and nondiscriminatory reason for the action that was taken. If your employer can do that, you and your Greenville, S.C. racial discrimination attorney will have a chance to prove that the reasons given by your employer are not the real reason the adverse action was taken against you.

If you can show that you were fired under suspicious circumstances and that your employer lied about why you were fired, the judge or another factfinder may be able to infer that your employer’s undisclosed retaliation was the real cause of you being fired from your job. 

The Greenville, South Carolina attorneys at Briggs Law Firm are wholly committed to fighting racial discrimination in your place of employment, and to achieve the unfulfilled promise of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They are trial-tested and ready to fight on your behalf to get you the relief you so richly deserve. Contact us today to see how we may be able to assist you in your racial discrimination case. 

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