NY Employment Discrimination – an Overview

An Overview of Workplace Discrimination in New York

Lawyers at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. know that every year, in New York and across America, thousands of employees file claims against employers alleging discrimination in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that oversees the enforcement of employment discrimination laws, and according to their reports, in 2013 alone, it received over 93,000 charges containing complaints that workers experienced unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation. In 2014, the New York State Division of Human Rights received over 6,000 allegations of discrimination, 82% of which involved employment. You are not the only one experiencing discrimination, and you do not have to face it alone.

Numerous laws and regulations attempt to combat discrimination in the workplace and the unlawful retaliation that often follows. Some legal provisions have been in existence for decades, and others are relatively new, addressing individual employment rights that have become the focus of attention in recent years. There are federal statutes, state, and even city laws that govern workplace rights.

In addition to addressing legal rights of workers and obligations of employers, the rules also provide remedies for employees who find themselves victims of illegal discrimination and retaliation. An employee who gets fired for a discriminatory reason may be able to receive reinstatement and back pay. A worker who is forced to endure sexual harassment may receive compensation for emotional distress and physical injuries. Employees can choose to assert their rights in a variety of ways. They may wish to negotiate a fair settlement, file a formal complaint with an administrative agency or file a lawsuit.

Employment Discrimination Lawyers Help Victims File Claims and Understand Laws

Attorneys, representing workers in New York City, Long Island and the surrounding areas, can be extremely helpful when deciding how to proceed after you have experienced discrimination in employment. You may not know what law best protects your interests. You may be afraid that your employer will punish you if you complain. You might not even be sure you have a strong enough case. Who should you tell?

Before you act, consider contacting Leeds Brown. Our discrimination lawyers have spent decades ensuring that employees understand their rights to work in a safe environment where they receive equal treatment. We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, hands-on representation to victims of illegal employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that occurs in violation of federal, state and city laws. Our dedication and track record of success have earned us an excellent reputation. We can help you proceed in a way that protects evidence and builds your case, providing you with the confidence and support to enforce your employment rights and hold your employer accountable for unlawful discrimination.

Federal, State, and City Laws Prohibit Employment Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Different statutes at different levels prohibit employment discrimination. Sometimes, the laws overlap, and other times they supplement one another. For example, New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) binds employers with 4 or more employees while federal laws tend to bind businesses with at least 15-20.

Some of the laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL)
  • New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL)

To be protected from discrimination you must fall into one of the specific classifications covered by one or more law. For instance, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination against an individual because of race, sex, religion, and national origin. Under Title VII, employment discrimination based on sex includes sexual harassment and the condition of pregnancy. Some others examples include:

  • The ADEA prohibits discrimination based on agefor individuals over 40
  • NYSHRL prohibits discrimination based on age for workers over 18
  • NYSHRL and/or NYCHRL prohibit workplace discrimination based on things such as gender identity, familial status, status as a domestic violence victim, and status as a caregiver
  • GINA makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of genetic information or to require disclosure of such information.

How Do New York Employers Discriminate Against Workers?

Unlawful discrimination can occur at any stage of the employment process from start to finish. When an employer makes an “employment decision” based on a protected trait, it can be unlawful. An employment decision can include a broad range of things ranging from the recruiting and hiring of an individual to promoting, compensating, training and firing. An employment decision can be intentionally discriminatory. Discrimination may also occur as the result of seemingly neutral policies or practices that have the effect of having a disparate impact on a protected classification of people. Harassment that creates a hostile work environment can also be illegal.

Have you experienced any of the following? If so, consider contacting Leeds Brown to find out if you have a claim for employment discrimination.

  • During your job interview for a department manager, the hiring partner tells you that despite your excellent qualifications, the workers prefer to be supervised by men because they won’t “get pregnant and leave.”
  • Your boss asks you to have sex in exchange for a raise and when you say no, she assigns you to a different department and eliminates your bonus.
  • You work as a secretary, and an injury requires that you spend months in a wheelchair. You ask your employer to raise your desk a few inches to accommodate the chair, and your company says no, firing you instead.
  • Although you work for a business with an overwhelming majority of African-American employees, all with the same level of experience, skill, and record of performance, promotions that consistently go to less qualified Caucasians workers.
  • At the age of 50, After 20 years of excellent service on the job, you are suddenly and without explanation excluded from training, meetings and other important workplace activities. Your performance review for the first time contains negative comments about your attitude and lack of interest in your job.
  • You have a co-worker who hugs and kisses you whenever you pass. It makes you uncomfortable, but she refuses to stop even though you ask her every day. You try to avoid her, but it is impossible if you want to do your job properly. You ask the Human Resources department (HR) to intervene; they ask you just to play along.

Contact Us

If you think you are experiencing workplace discrimination or harassment or your employer has retaliated against you for trying to protect your rights, contact Leeds Brown. You may be entitled to significant monetary damages or other relief under federal, New York State and/or New York City laws making employment discrimination illegal. We can help you decide what laws protect you best and ensure that you file a detailed, accurate, and timely claim.

At Leeds Brown, our New York employment discrimination attorneys can aggressively negotiate or litigate your claim, depending on the path you wish to pursue. Call us today at 1-800-585-4658 for a free case evaluation.