Are Asian Americans Experiencing More Workplace Discrimination Amid the Pandemic?

The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created endless physical, mental, and social woes around the world, and by its very nature, it has separated human beings from one another. When so much goes wrong, people often look for a scapegoat, or an entity to blame. Unfortunately, Asian Americans are experiencing this, regardless of what country their family originated from on that massive continent of 48 nations, owing to the COVID-19 virus that originated out of Wuhan, China.

This flawed view of dealing with a disease is, unfortunately, woven into human history. European Jews were blamed for the Black Plague and later of carrying typhus and tuberculosis; Irish Americans were blamed for spreading cholera in the 19th century; Italian immigrants were blamed for polio; and literally every country in the world blamed each other for spreading syphilis. More recently, the AIDS epidemic, which is believed to have first shown up in the United States in the 1960s and became an established threat in the 1980s, was blamed on Haitian and African immigrants coming to the United States at that time.

This discrimination is not just illogical, in that COVID-19 is a virus and so all human beings can carry it, often without knowing they are, regardless of what country they live in, or where their parents came from. It is also wrong, and it is illegal.

Physical, racially based attacks are happening to Asian-Americans in the United States, as has been documented by various news outlets, but workplace discrimination of Asians is also on the rise. This type of discrimination is much harder to spot, as it is far more subtle by nature.

It might be as direct as cruel racial jokes at work, and it might be as difficult to prove as a pattern of hiring, firing, and promoting that indicates a racial preference for the employer.

How can Victims Seek Justice?

Race discrimination violates the civil rights of the victims. Thankfully, protections for workers are written into federal and state law.

Since it is often subtle in nature and likely even more common than discrimination in public, workplace discrimination needs to be addressed by a talented employment lawyer who can find proof of discrimination in workplace patterns of hiring, firing, promoting, and demoting. New Jersey employees are protected by both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and the federal Civil Rights Act. Like the federal Civil Rights Act, which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) acts to ensure, NJLAD prohibits discrimination and harassment based on actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, and other protected characteristics.

Consulting an employment lawyer is the best way to make use of those protections. By filing a claim with the EEOC or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, victims of workplace racial discrimination can seek the justice they deserve and, it is hoped, create more equality in the workplace.

Victims of workplace discrimination may be entitled to compensation for back or future wages, counseling services, and job assistance services. Courts understand that much has been lost for that worker before the case ever sees the courtroom, so monetary compensation packages can be generous.

Workers who have fallen victim to workplace discrimination should know that there is a 180-day time limit for filing a claim with the EEOC from the time the discrimination took place. NJLAD has a two-year statute of limitations.

South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, Fight Workplace Discrimination

If you or a loved one are experiencing racial prejudice and bias on the job, the South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, are ready to fight for the rights of all employees.  We will fight on behalf of New Jersey workers, protecting their right to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment. Call us today at 856-235-7075 or contact us online for a free consultation. With office locations in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.