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Best Race Discrimination Attorney Answer: What is reverse discrimination? Do race discrimination laws protect employees who are not promoted to a position based on their race? Are the elements necessary to prove a race discrimination claim different for Caucasian employees compared to claims brought by racial minorities? How much is a “failure to promote” case worth?

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So called “reverse discrimination,” or discrimination against White or Caucasian employees, is not specifically addressed by either Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Ohio’s R.C. § 4112.99. Of course, these race discrimination laws do not specifically address discrimination against Black or African American employees. In reality, these laws are race neutral, meaning that they do not even mention a particular race that is protected. Instead, these laws make it unlawful to discriminate any and all races, religion, national origin, and both genders.

So how do you prove a case of “reverse discrimination”? Like any other claim of race discrimination, a victim of race discrimination at work must prove a prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas test. Under McDonnell Douglas, an employee must show that: (1) the employee is a member of a protected class; (2) the employee is qualified for the position; (3) the employee suffered an adverse employment action; and (4) either non-members of that employee’s class were treated more favorably than the employee, or the circumstances give rise to an inference of discrimination. Sarullo v. United States Postal Service, 352 F.3d 789, 797 (3d Cir. 2003). For “reverse discrimination” cases, this test changes altered to take into account the fact that the employee is not a member of a minority class. Some United States federal circuit courts require the employee to show that “background circumstances support the suspicion that the defendant is that unusual employer who discriminates against the majority.” On the othe hand, other United States Courts have held that “a plaintiff who brings a ‘reverse discrimination’ suit under Title VII should be able to establish a prima facie case in the absence of direct evidence of discrimination by presenting sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable fact finder to conclude (given the totality of the circumstances) that the defendant treated plaintiff ‘less favorably than others because of [his or her] race, color, religion, sex or national origin.’” Iadimarco v. Runyon, 190 F.3d 151, 163 (quoting Furnco Constr. Corp. v. Waters, 438 U.S. 567, 577, 98 S. Ct. 2943, 57 L. Ed. 2d 957 (1978). Under this test, the employee is not required to present direct evidence, but only enough evidence to create an inference of discrimination. Pivirotto v. Innovative Systems, Inc., 191 F.3d 344, 352 (3d Cir. 1999).

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Recently, a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York awarded $1.35 million to a Caucasian Freeport police Lieutenant, Christopher Barrella, who brought a lawsuit against the Village for racial discrimination after the Village awarded the Police Chief position to a Hispanic officer instead of Barrella, despite the fact that the Hispanic officer had fewer academic qualifications and a lower test score.

Specifically, Barrella alleged in his lawsuit that Andrew Hardwick, the Mayor of the Village of Freeport, “began terminating and demoting qualified, experienced Non-Hispanic whites and replacing them with less qualified and less experienced Hispanic and Black employees.” One of the employees in question, Miguel Bermudez, had four more years on the job in Freeport than Barrella, but had no college education whereas Barrella had two college degrees. Moreover, according to the lawsuit, Barrella scored highest on the test for chief, whereas Bermudez came in third.

Barrella asserted in his lawsuit that while Bermudez was given the Chief’s position, Barrella was not even interviewed for it.

Critically, the defendant employers could not articulate a believable reason other than race that Bermudez was promoted over a more qualified White officer.

In addition to compensatory damages, the jury awarded Barrella $200,000 in punitive damages. In addition to the $1.35 million, the city and defendants will also have to pay Barrella’s attorney’s fees and costs.

The moral of the story is simply this: hiring decisions should not ever consider the race, nation origin, gender, age or disability. Employers should just give the job to the most qualified candidate. Period.

If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with a race discrimination lawyer from the Spitz law firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.

Disclaimer:

The materials available at the top of this race discrimination page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking: “What should I do …”, “I’m being discriminated against …”, “my boss is discriminating against me because …” or “How do I …”, your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to race discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of the Spitz law firm, attorney Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.