Black man can’t get a raise for three years. What can I do?

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.

Posted  05-10-2013

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.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.

2015-06-10T19:43:35+00:00

About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.