New York employment discrimination attorneys know that the millions of workers in our city and state are hardworking and dedicated employees. We also know that sometimes workers lose their jobs, are denied benefits or face harassment and discrimination because of their gender, race, disability or another protected characteristic.
If you have been terminated unfairly, wrongfully denied wages or benefits or have been the victim of discriminatory practices, there is help available. Contact the New York employment discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown to understand your rights. You may be able to recover wages and other monetary compensation from an employer who has acted in an unlawful manner. Leeds Brown has been representing New York workers for several decades and is a firm with a deep passion for protecting the rights of employees. Let us assess your case and help determine the best way for you to proceed to secure the successful outcome you deserve.
Employment discrimination takes place when someone uses a protected classification as the basis for an adverse employment decision. Harassment occurs when the working environment is made to be uncomfortable or unbearable because of discriminatory behavior toward an employee. Harassment is considered to be a form of discrimination.
One can find protected categories outlined in various pieces of legislation. For example, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee who is disabled or appears to be disabled. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee on the basis of gender, race, religion or national origin. There are other laws that protect workers from discrimination based on age, pregnancy and more.
Federal anti-discrimination laws set the bar for the states. In other words, the states must not have any laws that take away the protections outlined in the federal laws. However, many states have laws that protect even more categories of people and bind more employers than the federal laws. New York is such a state. New York City goes even further than the state and has broad anti-discrimination laws that protect millions of workers from unlawful treatment.
New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) applies to employers with four or more employees. NYCHRL forbids employment discrimination based on “race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, any lawful source of income, status as a victim of domestic violence or status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking, whether children are, may be or would be residing with a person or conviction or arrest record.”
In May 2016, “caregiver” was added to this list of protected classes.
A “caregiver” is someone who provides ongoing care for a minor child or “care recipient.” A “care recipient” is a person with a disability who is a “covered relative” or a person who resides with the caregiver, and relies on the caregiver for medical care or the needs of daily life.
Covered relatives include children – biological, adopted, and foster. Covered relatives also include parents, grandparents, spouses, domestic partners, in-law parents and step-children. Truly, any person in the household with a familial relationship to the caregiver may qualify as a “covered relative.”
For example, an employee who is responsible for the care of a disabled grandparent, whether or not they live with them, or a young step-child may be a protected caregiver. A worker with a debilitated spouse or domestic partner may be a caregiver under NYCHRL.
Now that caregivers working in New York City receive protection from workplace discrimination, what does this mean? It means that employers may not make employment decisions based on someone’s status as a caregiver. Employment decisions include things such as hiring, firing, compensating and promoting. Employers may not take caregiver status into account when making one of these employment decisions. Of course, an employee’s status as a caregiver must not prevent him or her from performing the essential functions of the job.
How might caregiver discrimination manifest itself in a real workplace situation? Consider the following scenarios:
Jane, Joe, and Joy may wonder if they are facing discrimination because of their obligations as caregivers. Certainly, the circumstances are worth investigating.
If an employer in NYC makes an adverse employment decision based on any protected characteristic, including caregiver status, the victim may have the right to file a charge with the New York City Human Rights Commission and file a civil lawsuit in court.
Employment discrimination legislation can be complex, and there is little guidance on the implementation and enforcement of the newer provisions. Having a seasoned employment discrimination attorney review your case can be very useful in determining whether or not you have a single cause of action or many and, if so, how to begin the process of recovering damages.
Leeds Brown has decades of experience handling discrimination cases in New York City and state and will expertly guide you through the procedures and substantive issues that each case involves. We use a collaborative and hands-on approach to ensure that our clients obtain successful outcomes in their employment-related cases.
Find out more about your right to recover monetary damages from your employer. If you think you have been the victim of caregiver discrimination, gender discrimination or any form of employment discrimination, contact New York employment attorneys atLeeds Brown today for a free and thorough case evaluation. Our staff is here to take your call twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Call 1-800-585-4658.