From our offices in the Detroit area, Akeel & Valentine, PLC serves clients nationwide.

From our offices in the Detroit area, Akeel & Valentine, PLC serves clients nationwide.

Racial Discrimination against Lake Orion Trucking Company

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination

Even today, instances of racial discrimination continue to plague the workplace. This form of discrimination occurs when an individual is treated poorly due to their race or characteristics associated with race. Such behavior not only creates a hostile work environment but also has legal consequences.

What is racial discrimination?

Examples of acts of racial discrimination can include:

  • Unequal pay,
  • Lack of opportunities for advancement, and
  • Use of racial slurs or jokes that create a hostile environment.

Victims of workplace racial discrimination have recourse through various legal channels. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on race. Individuals may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will review the complaint and may move forward with an investigation of the claim. This could result in the EEOC mediating a settlement or issuing a “right to sue” letter, allowing the individual to pursue legal action in court.

How do these cases work?

Workers at a Michigan trucking company reached out to the EEOC after they were subject to many forms of discrimination, including preferential treatment of white workers over minorities. This included instances when the employer provided better pay to white workers as well as use of better equipment and bathroom facilities. Unfortunately, efforts to reach out to management did not help. After notifying management, the workers received a reduction in work hours.

The EEOC provided a right to sue letter and the workers moved forward with a lawsuit. The court moved the claim to arbitration. The workers are moving forward, arguing that they were victims of both discrimination and retaliation.

These cases are important because the serve three primary goals:

  1. Restitution. If successful, these cases can result in monetary awards that can help make things right for the victim. This can mean the victim receives funds they would have earned had they received fair pay and equal opportunities within the workplace.
  2. Responsibility. These cases also serve as a legal tool to hold those who treat workers unfairly responsible for their wrongdoing.
  3. Deterrence. Finally, taking these legal steps helps to deter others from discriminatory actions and can help to make the workplace better for everyone.

It is important to note that these cases take time. The worker originally began the legal process in September of 2022. Although the journey can take time, taking these steps helps to work towards removing discrimination within the workplace.