Area of Law:
At the state level, all residents of Louisiana have the right to work in an environment that is free of discriminatory practices where employees of all races, colors, and national origins are treated equally. In cases where these human rights laws are breached, the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights (LCHR) can be asked to step in to determine where the violation occurred and what should be done to rectify it. This commission is a supplementary organization to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which handles discrimination cases at the federal level. In short, if you feel you have been the victim of workplace racial discrimination in Louisiana, there are plenty of options available to you with regard to the best way to handle your situation.
Discrimination in the workplace can be something obvious like hiring or firing practices that clearly favor people of a certain race or color, but it can occur in less overt ways as well, such as with a hostile work environment caused by comments or harassment. Whatever the case may be, you should not feel intimidated about coming forward if you feel you have been discriminated against. Many people never report discrimination because they are afraid that the harassment will only get worse or that they could be fired or demoted. While nothing can stop a company from firing an employee, if they do so as a retaliatory measure, it is just as serious an offense as the initial act of discrimination, and there will be serious consequences for such an action.
When dealing with instances of workplace discrimination, you should contact a lawyer right away to find out what sort of case you have and what your chances would be should your case go to court. Some discrimination cases can be resolved amicably without having to go through a lengthy court process. However, there are also many cases where an agreement cannot be reached, and a complaint needs to be filed with either the LCHR or the EEOC. Your lawyer will advise you as to which commission you should file with, or if you don't have a lawyer, you can speak to someone at the LCHR who can advise you accordingly.
Once you have filed a complaint with either the LCHR or the EEOC, an investigator will look into the details of your complaint and determine whether or not a court action is warranted. You will either be given the right to sue or your case will be dismissed. If you are given the right to sue, then you will absolutely want legal representation if you have not had it up until this point. Your lawyer will take care of preparing your case for court so that you can make the best argument possible.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are statutes of limitations for racial discrimination claims. With both the LCHR and the EEOC, the statute of limitations is 180 days from the time of the discriminatory act in question. In other words, if you decide to file a complaint, it's best to do so as soon as possible.