Mission: To discourage discrimination against Asian
Pacific Americans (APA) by reporting serious anti-APA acts and derogatory
references to APA in the media, in government, in business, and in public
or private organizations.
Discrimination FAQ from Our Community
What if you suspect discrimination against you based on national
origin or race?
If you suspect that, your first step should be to file a complaint with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can file a complaint
by contacting your local EEOC office in person, by phone, or by mail.
Such a list can be found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/teledir.html
. You may call toll free at: 800-669-4000 for more information if a field
office is not close to where you live. You may also contact the Discrimination
Consultant, Mr. Chungsoo J. Lee, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (215) 947-0343.
Charges must be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory act. You
can find more information on the EEOC web site at: http://www.eeoc.gov/qs-employees.html.
If you can afford it, you may also contact a lawyer to guide you through
the EEOC process. See the next question, if you need help in finding a
How to find a lawyer, if EEOC agrees with you?
If the EEOC deems that your complaint can be subject
for a lawsuit, then you may want to file a private or class-action
lawsuit. In that case, you will want to find an attorney who can assist
you on a contingency basis, which means he will only collect a fee if
he wins a settlement or a case in court. When you win the case, you may
be awarded both compensatory damage and punitive damage. The amount of
compensatory damage is normally not large. It may include the salaries
you've lost and the lawyer's fees. The amount of the punitive damage could
be very large, if the discrimination is blatant and malicious. A lawyer
working on a contingency basis, normally takes one third of the award.
A list of Asian American lawyers can be found at the NAPABA (National
Asian Pacific American Bar Association) website, www.napaba.org if you
join as a member. Or you can use the law directory on http://directory.findlaw.com/
for free. Pro Bono services can be found at: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/home.html.
Often you may need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws of your state
or locality. You can look up the yellow pages in your telephone book,
under “lawyer.” There will be hundreds of names there. Don't
be fazed by that. Look for those lawyers who have ads in the yellow page
that specifically list discrimination as one of their preferred areas
of practice. You'll find out that the number of such lawyers is quite
small. Call some of them to find out if they'll handle your case on a
contingency basis. Tell them that you've already
contacted EEOC, and that it deems that you may have a valid case.
Most lawyers do not take a case on contingency basis unless EEOC has already
done the first layer of screening.
Life will be easier if it's a class action suit:
Most lawyer are more willing to take a case, if you have a “CLASS
ACTION” suit. A class action suit requires a minimum of 15 plaintiffs.
If you have many colleagues who have been laid off on suspected “racial
or national-origin grounds,” then you have a much stronger case.
You will also be subject to a lot less personal scrutiny and/or attacks
by your company. If there is any possibility of finding 15 persons to
form a class action suit, it will definitely be worth your effort. The
plaintiffs in the "class" do not have to be named, so you do
not have to convince your colleagues to join the suit.