Hate victims at CA, Hawaii workplace offered free legal assistance
By Gilda Balan, Correspondent
The two states are host to large communities of Asians and Asian Americans, especially Filipinos and FilAms.
As reported in the Nextshark website this week, the initiative is spearheaded by the California/Hawaii State Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Colored People (AACP).
Called the ‘Stop the Hate Legal Redress’ program, it is aimed at combating racial discrimination in the workplace in both states.
While greater attention and media coverage has gone to more vicious attacks against minorities, acts of hate against them in the workplace should not be understated. They also pose a serious problem, one which could worsen if not properly addressed.
Rick Callender, president of the organization, said their program aligns with their commitment to championing equality and addressing racial discrimination.
He told local broadcast media, “If you’ve been discriminated against because of your race, if you’ve been the subject of hate because of your race, we want to make sure that we’re providing legal representation and advice for you.”
As outlined by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, racial harassment encompasses a range of behavior, including offensive conduct, slurs, gestures and more.
Despite progress, Callender noted that racial discrimination remains a pressing issue.
Assistance is offered to all present and former Hawaii or California workers in both the private and public sectors. All those who feel that they have been victimized should submit a Civil & Human Rights Complaint form to their local NAACP branch.
Once received, the form is processed by the branch’s Legal Redress Committee, which examines the complaint, specifically focusing on the triggers related to ‘racial discrimination’ or ‘racial harassment.’
If it is found that legal intervention is needed, the case is referred to the State Conference, which then connects the complaint to a qualified law firm.
The legal services are made possible via funding from the ‘Stop the Hate’ program, a component of the Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget established in 2021 to end hate against the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
The program is in collaboration with two law firms – Bracy Hawkins Law, P.C. and Webber & Egbert Employment Law, P.C. – which provide legal consultations and possible representation.
The free legal aid can be considered as yet another step in the ongoing battle to Stop Asian Hate.