What protections do I have from racial discrimination?
In the United States there are a couple of different avenues you can go. One is protections under title seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That particular statute provides for back pay and front pay, compensatory damages, and your attorney’s fees if you can recover. You can also proceed under various state law prohibitions against racial discrimination. In Tennessee, for example, we have the Tennessee Human Rights Act, which has the similar protections to title seven, but in addition to those elements I mentioned before, there’s also no limit on those damages under the Tennessee Human Rights Act, and you can also get punitive damages under the Tennessee Human Rights Act.
The third basis is a section 1983 claim under federal law which prevents racial discrimination. It has similar damage elements as to the ones I just enunciated. They have slightly different legal standards for each one of those three statutes, and so you should consult with an employment law attorney to determine whether or not you have a claim under one or all three or two, and how you should proceed.
Typically, under title seven and most state statutory schemes of this nature, you need to file some sort of administrative complaint. Under title seven you’d file an EEOC complaint, a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Under Tennessee state law and many other state laws, there’s a state law counterpart to that. One thing to be careful about is, all of those statute of limitations for those various different statutes are all different and they all run concurrently, and so you want to make sure you are very careful in how you pursue your claims, and again, it’s good to get advice and representation if possible from an experienced employment law attorney.
*This is a transcript of the Facebook Live video from 7-26-18 Click here to watch the video.