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Racial Discrimination By Employers Continues to Occur in Pennsylvania

 Posted on December 20, 2018 in Workplace Discrimination

Pittsburgh employer racial discrimination attorneyIf you take a careful look around your workplace, you may honestly be able to say that you see no evidence of racial discrimination. However, not everyone in Pennsylvania can say that. Employer race discrimination continues to be surprisingly common in the state. 

In fact, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 1,195 race-based employment discrimination charges from Pennsylvania in 2017, and it has received a roughly similar number each year since 2011. Pennsylvania ranked seventh among the 50 states in race-based complaints in 2017. Texas had the largest number of charges (2,999), followed by Florida, Georgia, California, Illinois, and North Carolina. It should also be noted, however, that the EEOC found that 75% of all U.S. race-based charges were unsupported by the evidence. 

To provide an idea of what types of racial discrimination charges are still being filed against employers in Pennsylvania, here are two recent cases that appeared in the news in 2018:

Battery-Manufacturing Company Sued for Race-Based Harassment

East Penn Manufacturing Co., a battery manufacturer based in Lyon Station, PA, is being sued by a former employee for race-based harassment that created a hostile work environment. The complainant alleges that at least three co-workers repeatedly used racial slurs in his presence and that some of those co-workers spit at black employees. These incidents took place during 2015-2016.

An EEOC investigation had previously determined that the employee’s complaint was supported by sufficient evidence, that the racial harassment qualified as “severe or pervasive,” and that company management “failed to take prompt and effective action to stop the harassment.” East Penn opted not to participate in negotiations with the EEOC to settle the complaint. Thus, the door was opened for the complainant to file his lawsuit. 

Greensburg Police Department Sued for Firing Sole Black Employee

A federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by the Greensburg, PA police department was filed in 2017 and allowed to move forward by a federal judge in 2018. The suit alleges that a former Greensburg police officer was discriminated against and fired because of his race. 

The suit cites numerous prejudicial comments directed at the officer by both co-workers and superiors from 2015-2016. For example, when the complainant suggested that more black men should enter the field of law enforcement, his lieutenant allegedly replied, “They could if they weren’t so busy doing drugs and getting arrested.” Another officer reportedly said the complainant would be good at identifying black suspects because “they all look the same.” 

Consult a Pittsburgh Employment Race Discrimination Lawyer

If you believe you have been subjected to racial discrimination or harassment by an employer, contact an experienced Allegheny County race discrimination lawyer. Colianni & Leonard LLC can help you file a claim for compensation. To request a free consultation, call our Wexford office at 412-680-7877. We serve clients employed in the greater Pittsburgh area, including Ross Township, McCandless, and Franklin Park.


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