What to do about possible employment discrimination?

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What to do about possible employment discrimination?

I have been working here for 3 years and my first 15 months here I didn’t get a raise. I was promised a review after 3 month. I am white and work for an Asian owned company. There are 2 Asian hired after me who got their raises late, plus back pay. Also, there was an Hispanic guy who quit because he didn’t get his raise or anything for a year and was promised the same. I have asked the owner about it several times and he told me it’s in the past and let’s start fresh. Additionally, after the last few month he said he would give me some stock to make up for it by last month. Never happened.

Asked on December 9, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Discriminating in employment on the basis of race is illegal. That does not mean that, for example, a white employee must be treated as well as asian employees--but it does mean that the difference in treatment cannot be based on race, but must instead have some non-racial basis (e.g. education or qualification, performance reviews, years in service, etc.). If you are being treated worse because of your race, you may be entitled to compensation. You could either contact the state department of labor to file a complaint or retain a private attorney to bring a lawsuit. The labor department will not cost you anything, but they may or may not take your case (it's their discretion) and will almost certainly move slower; your own attorney will be more efficient and faster, and you *may* be able  to recover attorneys fees in the lawsuit to cover his/her cost. I'd suggest you first consult with an employment attorney (many provide a free initial consultation) to discuss your case and how the attorney would pursue it; then you can decide what to do.


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