New York Employment Discrimination Lawyers
Employment Discrimination Lawyers Advocate for Your Rights
Employment discrimination lawyers who represent clients in New York, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., understand that fair and equal treatment at work is something to which all employees have a right. Equal pay, fair hiring practices, and company policies are some of the actions that the laws of our nation and the State of New York require. Employees face discrimination all the time. Some workers stay quiet for fear of losing their job and others may not even notice they are receiving different treatment. All employees should know, however, that you have the right to seek recourse when your employer discriminates against you. You have the right to put a stop to the discriminatory behavior, policies, and practices and receive money compensation or other remedies that may be available.
Leeds Brown has a team of experienced and passionate New York workplace discrimination lawyers who can help when your employer or co-worker discriminates against or harasses you. Our team-based personal approach to all matters makes our clients feel comfortable and confident with our representation. If you are looking for skilled and aggressive advocates, who can guide you through the process of filing a discrimination claim and recovering monetary damages, reinstatement or that promotion you lost, look no further than Leeds Brown.
Laws Protecting Workplace Rights
Federal and state laws protect workers from discrimination and harassment. The primary federal laws that cover employment discrimination are:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- the Equal Pay Act (EPA)
- the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) contains the state laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace and are similar to the protections found in the national ones. In many instances, NYSHRL goes beyond the scope of federal statutes by providing coverage to employees with characteristics not mentioned in those laws. New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) includes further protection to workers who may not receive it under the other regulations. In addition to the basis of the discrimination or harassment, the size of the business, and its location may be factors in determining what law should apply to any given employment discrimination case.
NYSHRL, NYCHRL, and federal law, taken together, prohibit discrimination based on the following protected categories and characteristics:
- National origin
- Pregnancy related conditions
- Medical leave
- Family leave
- Familial status
- Caregiver status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Status as domestic violence victim
- Military status
- Genetic information and predisposed genetic characteristics
Recognizing Employment Discrimination
Sometimes, discrimination is overt and obvious. But in reality, you don’t often hear a manager say to an employee, “I am not promoting you because I do not like people of your gender,” or a hiring partner tell an applicant, “I would offer you a job, but you are too pregnant for my liking.”
Employment discrimination tends to be a bit more subtle and occur as a series of comments or events. A supervisor may make sexist comments about an employee to coworkers, colleagues may pass around a racially charged photo, or a manager may continuously overlook a particular employee for a less qualified one.
Employment policies and practice that appear neutral may also have the effect of discriminating. When a neutral policy adversely impacts an employee or group of employees in a protected category, it is said to have a disparate impact. For instance, a policy that forbids employees from wearing anything on their head may disparately impact workers who practice religions that require head coverings. That policy may result in unlawful religious discrimination.
Harassment because of a protected characteristic can also be a form of discrimination. The laws that forbid employment discrimination also prohibit retaliation. In other words, an employer may not punish an employee for complaining about or trying to put a stop to discrimination or harassment. For example, if an employee files a claim for discrimination it may be unlawful for an employer to fire, demote or discipline the worker.
Discrimination in the workplace can exist at all levels of employment and can be carried out by anyone. Business owners, supervisors, managers, vice presidents, board members, vendors, customers and other employees can behave in ways that result in a violation of one of the many anti-employment discrimination laws.
For your own protection, you should be aware that discrimination is unlawful at every stage of the employer-employee relationship including pre-employment procedures. Any time an employment decision takes into consideration a protected characteristic, it may be unlawful discrimination. Some of the common areas where employers discriminate or retaliate include:
- Firing/laying off
- Assigning tasks
- Assigning sales territories
- Granting bonuses
- Providing benefits
- Assigning workspace
- Performance reviews
Hostile Work Environment is Also Discrimination
A hostile work environment may also be the basis for an employment discrimination claim. A hostile work environment may exist when a supervisor or colleague engages in offensive and unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic. The conduct must be severe enough to create working conditions that would make a reasonable person feel uncomfortable or unsafe. An employer that knows or should have known about the abusive conduct, and does not fix the situation, may be liable for employment discrimination. If an employee facing a hostile environment does not get the help he or she needs, and the employer does not put a stop to it, the victim may feel forced to resign. That employee may also have a claim for constructive discharge.
Remedies and Damages for Employment Discrimination
Proving your discrimination requires several things. You must show you are part of a protected class, that you were the victim of an adverse employment decision and/or action or subjected to a hostile work environment because of one or more protected characteristics. Your employer will likely refute your claims by alleging any adverse action taken was because of non-discriminatory factors such as poor job performance.
Having employment law attorneys to help gather evidence to stand up to your employer and help build a strong case can be essential in recovering all of the damages to which you are entitled.
There are remedies that may be available in an employment discrimination case. Individuals may be able to obtain monetary damages such as back pay, and compensation for emotional trauma and/or pain and suffering. Employees may also receive reinstatement, promotion or other accommodations. In certain cases, courts may award punitive damages.
Do you think your employer fired you, demoted you, or denied your raise or promotion because of discrimination or retaliation? If so, speak with Leeds Brown, experienced employment lawyers in New York. We understand federal, state and city employment discrimination laws and procedures and have decades of experience helping employees obtain favorable outcomes.
Whatever your damages are, whatever your experience has been, you don’t have to continue on your own. Help is available to you 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. Consider calling Leeds Brown today for a free case evaluation. We can assist you to determine the best course of action that can lead to a successful resolution of your employment discrimination claim.