The discrimination that women and people of color have historically faced is well-known. Many employers are aware, too, and have sought to take steps to increase the diversity of their workforces. As with almost anything, however, there’s a right way and a wrong way. Employers whose diversity initiatives fall into the “wrong way” column may find themselves in violation of laws banning race or sex discrimination. If you are someone who’s been harmed because your employer impermissibly discriminated against you based on sex and/or race, you may be entitled to significant compensation, even if you’re male and white. Regardless of your race or gender, you owe it to yourself to get in touch with an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyer and discuss your legal options.
Earlier this week, the outcome of a discrimination case made headlines across the country, receiving coverage from major sources like The New York Times, CBS News, CNN, and Newsweek. What made the case newsworthy to many of these publications was the fact that the plaintiff was a white man.
The employee, who was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for a network of physician clinics and hospitals, started his job in August 2013. According to his lawsuit, on July 30, 2018, just five days shy of his fifth anniversary with the company, the vice president was summoned into a meeting and, without any prior notice, fired immediately.
The man’s lawsuit alleged that the employer, which had “boasted” about its efforts in expanding the diversity of its management team, fired him to put in his place two women, one of whom was a person of color. The crux of the lawsuit was that the employer fired the vice president simply because he was white and male and did not enhance the employer’s diversity statistics.
The jury in the vice president’s case awarded the man, not just compensatory damages, but also punitive damages. The total award was $10 million. The vice president’s attorney hailed the victory as an important reminder that, while increased diversity (particularly in management-level positions) is a worthy goal, the law does not permit employers to purge white and/or male employees simply for being white and/or male. “We believe the punitive damages award was a strong message that an employer cannot just fire employees based on their race or gender to create opportunities to achieve diversity targets,” the lawyer told CBS.
The Importance of Title VII if You Suffer Discrimination in Georgia
Here in the Peach State, knowing your rights under federal anti-discrimination laws (like Title VII) is very important. If you work for a private employer and you don’t work in certain municipalities like the City of Atlanta, then your sole form of recourse after you’ve suffered race or sex discrimination may be a Title VII claim, as the State of Georgia does not have a statute that bans private employers from engaging in these forms of workplace discrimination.
If you have been treated unfavorably at work due to a protected characteristic like age, sex, race, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, you may be entitled to recover significant compensation. The right legal team can help you put together a potent claim to file with the EEOC and, if necessary, with the courts. Don’t delay; get in touch with the skilled Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys at Parks, Chesin & Walbert today at 877-986-5529 to discuss your case.