Seattle Racial Discrimination Attorney

Whether workplace race discrimination is overt or subtle, it is unfair, illegal, and can seriously harm a person’s rights and well-being.

The actions of countless brave men and women, government and legislative actions, and decades of social change have made the workforce a more diverse place. People from all racial backgrounds now have a better opportunity to find and pursue a career of their choice.

Unfortunately, racial discrimination and unfair racial bias still exists in the workplace – in Washington State and across the country.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is far from being fully realized.

I have helped countless clients recover fair compensation for being the victims of race discrimination.  Unfortunately, the only way that many companies learn that racial discrimination is wrong and will not be tolerated is through significant judgments that affect their bottom line.

Steve Teller has represented clients alleging racial discrimination against Traylor Brothers Construction Company on the Sound Transit UW Tunnel project, and a client alleging that he was fired because he complained about racism. Watch the news reports below.

WKPT – ABC, Seattle, WA September 24, 2014

KIRO – CBS – Seattle, WA October 7, 2014

KCPQ – FOX, Seattle, WA, September 23, 2014

OANN, National, September 24, 2014


What Counts as Racial Discrimination?

Racial discrimination involves someone treating another person poorly because of his or her race (or characteristics associated with race). Racial discrimination can take a wide variety of forms, but it is important for you to understand what actions may be the result of discrimination in order to protect yourself.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the following are common forms of racial discrimination:

  • Employment Actions Based on Race – This includes firing, pay chances, assignments, promotions, layoffs, benefits, training, and more. Generally, any action that affects the terms and conditions of your employment is considered to be illegal if the action is motivated by a person’s race or racial appearance.
  • Creating a Hostile Work Environment – Workers who cause frequent incidents and regularly create racial tension for an employee will have created a hostile environment.
  • Harassment – These actions include derogatory remarks about your race, making racial slurs, displaying racially-offensive symbols, and other aggressive actions focused on race.
  • Racially-Insensitive Workplace Policies – If a workplace has policies that apply to everyone, but nonetheless have a negative impact on workers of a certain race, these policies can be examples of race discrimination.

Forms of Race Discrimination – Overt and Covert Forms

Race discrimination can be overt, where the terms and conditions of employment are sometimes unfairly established and managed by people with an expressed animosity against those of different racial backgrounds. Racial bias and race discrimination can also be covert or subtle, hidden by assertions of pretext and allegedly legitimate reasoning.

What Compensation and Corrective Action are Available in a Case of Racial Discrimination?

If you have been the victim of race discrimination, you have the right to seek compensation and corrective action. Racial discrimination compensation in Washington is designed to restore you to the position you would be in if you had not been victimized by illegal discrimination.

Job Restoration

If you were fired, demoted, refused a promotion, or otherwise harmed in your job, your compensation can sometimes include the restoration of your job or receiving the promotion you should have received.

How Much Money Can I Get in a Racial Discrimination Case?

Usually a successful recovery of monetary damages includes back pay that should have been received if the racial discrimination had not occurred.  Additionally, those victimized by racial discrimination are also entitled to monetary damages as compensation for humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, and emotional distress experienced from race discrimination.

Other specific damages that you suffered can also be compensated, such as the expense of searching for a new job or medical care that you were unable to pay because you lost healthcare coverage and could not afford to continue your coverage through COBRA.

These damages are determined by a jury based upon the evidence introduced at trial.  Some aspects of compensation – such as back pay – are more easy to calculate that are other damages – such as fair compensation for humiliation and emotional distress.  You may also be awarded compensation for attorney fees and other court costs.

Can I Receive Punitive Damages?

In egregious cases, punitive damages can also be sought against the company that discriminated against you. Punitive damages in racial compensation cases are not designed to compensate or “make a victim whole” for the damages suffered.  Instead, punitive damages are designed solely to punish the employer, so that the employer, and other similar companies, will have a strong incentive not to engage in racial discrimination.

Because of the punishment nature, punitive awards can be significant; often, many thousands of dollars.  They are intended to be related to the size of the company, not the injury done to the worker.  The employer can also be required by enforcement agencies to stop engaging in further acts of race discrimination and to make sure that discrimination no longer occurs in the workplace.

How I Help Those Who Have Been the Victims of Workplace Racial Discrimination

When you hire my firm, powerlessness ends.  No longer will companies engaging in racial discrimination believe that they have the right to treat employees however they wish.

As a Seattle race discrimination attorney, I am experienced at holding employers responsible when they have illegally discriminated against workers based on race.  I take on companies and organizations of all sizes that encourage or permit racial discrimination to occur.

Often, when confronted with racial discrimination claims, employers will assert that their wrongful actions are not based on race discrimination, but instead are based on a legitimate reason, such as poor work performance.  I work to uncover the truth behind wrongful employer actions through depositions (requiring answers under oath), investigation, witness interviews, and other methods.  The employer’s documents and communications are often a valuable source of proof.  Racist social media posts by the alleged harasser or decisionmakers are extremely valuable.

Call Me to Schedule A Consultation.

Give me a call. I will discuss your concerns and determine if I might be able to help you address race discrimination in your workplace or help you to seek compensation for the harm you have already experienced.

As I often accept discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis, there are usually no fees that are owed to me during the litigation process – I are compensated only if I win.