Race, Ethnicity, and National Origin Discrimination

– Barack Obama
“I see what’s possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment.”
face montage from various countries

Race, Ethnicity, and National Origin Discrimination?

We are a nation of all races and creed, and unless we are native inhabitants, we, or our parents and grandparents, come from other parts of the world. The nation prides  herself with the peaceand harmony between her citizens.

State and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin. That is, an employer may not discriminate against a person because of his or her race, ethnicity or national origin with respect to any matter relating to employment or discipline. Additionally, the employer may not harass a person on the basis of these criteria or allow others to harass such person on the basis of these criteria, because such harassment may create a toxic or unbearable work environment.

Discrimination is prohibited against an employee or potential employee based on race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. It is illegal for an employer to use these factors in hiring, terms and conditions of employment, in promotion, demotion, discipline, failure to accommodate, termination, etc.

Discrimination also takes place when an employee is harassed at work based on these factors. The harassment must rise above mere race-based or ethnic-based “jokes” and offensive comments. It must rise to the level of being “severe and pervasive.” You must be offended and act upon it, such as making complaints. However, certain conducts are deems inherently offensive, such as hanging a noose at place of employment to scare an African-American employee.

No Direct Evidence Required to Prove Discrimination

In employment discrimination cases, such as age, race, ethnicity, disability, sex, etc., or discriminatory harassment, direct evidence of discrimination includes, but not limited to, for example, supervisor making discriminatory comments in emails, recorded telephone messages, text messages, social media positing’s, etc.

While direct evidence of discrimination is preferred, a plaintiff is not required to come forward with direct evidence of discrimination. All courts recognizes that employers are sophisticated enough to hide motives they know are illegal. They do not leave a paper-trial or other direct evidence of discrimination, and there will seldom be eyewitness testimony as to the employer’s state of mind, no written records revealing the forbidden motive and may communicate it orally to no one.

In the absence of direct evidence of discrimination, courts permit a plaintiff to present her case to a jury if she comes up with circumstantial evidence sufficient to demonstrate that her termination was more likely than not motivated by discrimination.

New Jersey courts analyze an LAD claim based on the three-part burden shifting framework established by the United States Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green. Under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework, if the plaintiff sets forth a prima facie case of discrimination, a presumption is created that the employer unlawfully discriminated against the plaintiff. The plaintiff sets forth a prima facie case of AGE discrimination if she demonstrates that (1) she was in a protected class; (2) she was qualified for the position from which she was fired; and (3) she suffered an adverse employment decision; (4) she was replaced by a sufficiently younger person to create an inference of age discrimination, or the termination took place under circumstances that give rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination. After an employee has established a prima facie case, a presumption is created that the employer unlawfully discriminated against the employee.

After the plaintiff establishes prima facie case, the burden then shifts to the employer to articulate with admissible evidence a “legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the employer’s action. To accomplish this, the employer must clearly set forth the reasons for the plaintiff’s rejection which would support a jury finding that unlawful discrimination was not the cause of the adverse employment action.

After the employer demonstrates a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for termination, the burden then shifts back to the plaintiff to come forward with evidence demonstrating either (1) that defendants‟ proffered reason for terminating the plaintiff was unworthy of credence, or (2) discriminatory animus more likely than not motivated plaintiff’s termination.

A plaintiff may demonstrate discrimination by producing indirect evidence to demonstrate that the employers’ reasons to terminate/discipline employer’s was either a post hoc fabrication or otherwise did not actually motivate the employment action. That is, the reasons provided by the employer was a pretext. To do so, the plaintiff must demonstrate such weaknesses, implausibilities, inconsistencies, incoherencies, or contradictions in the employer’s reasons for termination/discipline that a reasonable factfinder could rationally find them unworthy of credence, and hence infer that the employer did not act for the asserted reasons provided.

Alternatively, a plaintiff may come forward with sufficient evidence from which a jury could reasonably conclude that a discriminatory factor more likely than not was a motivating or determinative cause of the adverse employment decision (e.g., by showing that the employer in the past had subjected him to unlawful discriminatory treatment, that the employer treated other, similarly situated persons not of his protected class more favorably, or that the employer has discriminated against other members of his protected class or other protected categories of persons).Further, a plaintiff need not prove that discrimination was the ONLY factor, or the sole or exclusive factor in the decision to fire her, but A factor.

Statistically, most plaintiffs win their discrimination cases in state courts. However, some of these cases do not even make it to a jury, and are dismissed on summary judgment.

If you are looking for a qualified race, ethnicity, and national origin discrimination attorney to work on your claim, please review the case types below.

Case Type


Race/Color Discrimination


Race/Color Discrimination & Work Situations


Race/Color Discrimination & Harassment


Race/Color Discrimination & Employment Policies/Practices


Ethnicity Discrimination


Ethnicity Discrimination & Work Situations


Ethnicity Discrimination & Harassment


Ethnicity Discrimination & Policies/Practices


National Origin Discrimination


National Origin Discrimination & Work Situations


National Origin Discrimination & Harassment


National Origin Discrimination & Policies/Practices

Do You Have a Claim?

Kindly contact us at 201-222-0123 or complete our inquiry form if you believe you are a victim of employment discrimination related to race, ethnicity, and national origin discrimination, or other statutory state or constitutional law violations.