Articles Posted in Race Discrimination

Here’s a New York discrimination story that’s sparked thousands of conservations (and no doubt many arguments as well) among residents of the entire Big Apple.

The chain restaurant, TGI Friday’s, recent closed its Manhattan location and opened another restaurant only a block away. Workers from the old location claim that management told them they would have a chance to apply for positions at the new store. They never got the opportunity.

Critics claim that the TGI Friday’s new location opened with new, lighter skinned workers. Just one black employee from the old location successfully transitioned to the new location. According to a New York Daily News article, former employees allege that managers consistently and openly “referred to the old location as ‘the ghetto store.’” They also say that, in response to protesting Hispanic employees, management told them to “work harder.”

Actor and comedian Chris Rock and reporter Frank Rich first appeared together in 1996 on Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect. They were recently reunited for two New York lounge conversations during Rock’s promotion of the upcoming movie Top Five, which he wrote and directed.

During the conversation reported on the Vulture website, Rock had several controversial things to say about the 2014 midterm elections that were deemed “a fiasco for Obama.” For example, he said Republicans “have no problem being victims” and that colleges have become “too conservative” for his comedy acts.

Rock also observed how America could improve equality for minority groups. Rock said, “If people knew how rich, rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” Whether or not riots are imminent, there are a few things more fortunate people can do to increase equality.

Prominent civil rights attorney, John Doar, died of heart failure in his Manhattan home on November 12, 2014. The impact of his accomplishments will never be forgotten.

Doar played a key role in protecting the rights of black students, both in the voting booths and in academia. Doar’s work often took him to Mississippi – one of the last states to accept integration in the 1960s. When the University of Mississippi finally integrated in 1962, Doar escorted its first black student, James Meredith, onto campus.

Doar was also known for his tireless work defending civil rights activists and other disenfranchised black citizens throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. In 1967, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, three young civil rights workers, were slain. Doar served as the prosecuting attorney in their case, successfully charging seventeen men with violating the civil rights of the three victims.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women reports that up to 94 percent of women in Egypt have experienced sexual harassment in many forms, from catcalls to assaults.

A decree released last week by Adly Mansour, the outgoing president of Egypt, outlaws sexual harassment. This law, an amendment to the previous penal code that imposed no punishments on offenders, imposes jail sentences of 6 months to five years and fines up to $700 for one offense.

More severe sentences apply when offenders repeat the crime, abuse positions of power, or use weapons to sexually harass others.

Back in 1992, only 17% of college graduates took an unpaid internship. That percentage has nearly tripled — today, it’s around 50%. Meanwhile, companies justify unpaid internships as “just the way things are” and “a great way for young people to get experience.” But more and more people are rebelling against the practice of unpaid internships, calling it illegal, and filing lawsuits to get it to stop.

As this blog (and many other sources) reported, last year, unpaid interns at Fox Studios sued the big production company for making them work jobs without actually paying them.

The United States has minimum wage laws for a reason — to protect workers from exploitation, even if they might consent to such practices. A powerful new cartoon published on the site Upworthy exposes the astonishing hypocrisies at work in the unpaid internship industry. The cartoonist hopes to inspire people to crack down on this preposterous practice and compel employers to pay young workers for their time and service.

On August 23, Judge William T. Moore of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Georgia dismissed Paula Deen’s sexual harassment lawsuit “with prejudice.” The announcement prompted many court observers to conclude that Deen had settled out of court with the Plaintiff, Lisa Jackson, an ex-general manager at her Deen’s Savannah, Georgia restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. Jackson had accused the celebrity chef and her brother, Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers, of an array of inflammatory charges, including using sexist and racist language, sexual harassment, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.

Jackson also made a racial discrimination claim against Deen. This claim was dismissed — not necessarily because the alleged racist behavior didn’t occur, but because Jackson is a white woman, so she lacked proper standing to make such a complaint.

Racism and Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Deen Sparked a Firestorm

Thousands of workers in the fast food industry recently launched a multi-city protest, demanding higher wages, the opportunity to unionize, and an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour (up from the current $7.25 per hour).

Despite the impassioned and heartrending stories out of Detroit, New York, Chicago and elsewhere, observers remain skeptical about whether the protests can change policy.

Restaurant industry organizations and other critics claim that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would lead to the loss of jobs and the closing of businesses. Some political groundswell for changing the minimum wage exists — there hasn’t been a hike, since 2009. President Obama recently pushed for a more modest increase, up to $9 per hour. Other, more progressive advocates in Congress want to bump the rate up to $10.50 per hour.

Cases involving racial harassment and retaliation are often nuanced.

There are some legal subtleties to this case. But other matters contain so many stark and disturbing details that they almost seem made up. As you learn what happen, you wonder “how on Earth could this have happened and lasted as long as it did?”

Joseph & Kirschenbaum recently brought an action in United States District Court on behalf of a counselor at a New York City rehabilitation facility. What our plaintiff suffered is astonishing, given that these events occurred in the 21st century. Here is a brief catalog of some (not even close to all!) of what our client alleges he went through at his job:

Have you suffered harassment or discrimination at your workplace?

If so, by examining two recent stories in the news, you might come to a deeper understanding about what you can do to get the bad behavior to stop… and possibly to get compensated for your lost wages, emotional turmoil, and other struggles.

Recently, a company called Yellow RC Worldwide Inc. settled a prominent racial harassment and discrimination suit for $11 million. The case concerned African-American employees at an Illinois facility, who allegedly had been operating in a “racially hostile working environment” that included discriminatory terms of employment. The freight hauling company settled a similar suit with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) back in 2010. That suit, which considered a different Yellow Transportation owned facility, settled for $10 million.

In April, jilted would-be contestants of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette filed a high profile racial discrimination suit against the network and the show’s producers.

The plaintiffs allege that the highly popular shows failed to cast diversely. The two shows have been on TV for over a decade — 23 seasons all told — and they have never featured a “person of color” as either a Bachelor or a Bachelorette. According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, “The lack of minority faces on the show has been a curiosity of some analysts even before this lawsuit.”

Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two of the plaintiffs, want to get the lawsuit certified as a class action. They also want to keep the case in Tennessee, where it’s currently situated. Lawyers for ABC and the producers of the show filed documents on June 1 to try to move the case to Los Angeles, since the City of Angels has been where “virtually all of the material witnesses” reside.

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