I work for a well-known taxi company as a dispatcher. I also have been asked to take care of the new accounts that come in, and have not gotten any compensation for it. I’ve been here for about three years now, have a great track record, very few mistakes, always on time, no call outs, and very polite to the customers and co-workers. But I have been passed over for promotions and raises. I have talked to management, all I get is, “Oh, we will look into it”. They have acknowledged the fact that I do a great job and have no problem with my work ethic, but when raises are passed out, I’m looked over till I say something, and even then, my raise is not as much as the others. In fact, some newer employees are making more than I am. I am a black male, and most employees are Hispanic, and I feel I am subjected to workplace discrimination because of my race. What can I do? I have a family to take care of, too.
Ann Kiernan replies:
From what you write, this certainly sounds like race discrimination. To win a case, you would first have to show that you are performing up to your employer’s legitimate expectations and that less-qualified employees who are not black are getting more pay and promotions. Then your employer would have to present evidence of its legitimate non-discriminatory reason for its pay and promotion practices. In the third and last part of the case, you would have to present evidence showing that the employer’s reason was a pretext or a lie, and ask the jury to conclude that, therefore, the real reason must be racial discrimination.
If management does not respond to your concerns, I think it’s time to get some real legal advice and explore your options. If you do not know a local employment lawyer, you might contact your local county bar association and ask for a referral, or look for a local attorney who belongs to the National Employment Lawyers Association (www.nela.org). Good luck.
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