Our New York Employment attorneys handle all kinds of employment law cases for clients who have been discriminated against in the workplace. We represent those who have been fired, demoted or otherwise penalized in the workplace based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and other characteristics protected by New York law.
We have experience in employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower protection, and retaliation cases. Additionally, our employment attorneys represent New York workers in severance agreements, contract negotiations, and other types of employment documents and agreements.
New York Anti-Discrimination Laws
Workers are protected by federal, state and local laws against any kind of discrimination in the workplace. It is unlawful to terminate, refuse to hire, fail to promote, offer lower pay rates or treat employees or potential employees differently due to race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion or membership in any protected class as defined by law.
These protections are offered under the New York State Human Rights Law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Equal Pay Act. These federal and state laws and regulations exist to protect employees of varying classes against many different kinds of discrimination. In addition, many local municipalities offer additional protections, such as the New York City Law and the New York City Human Rights Laws.
What Types of Discrimination are Prohibited by New York Law?
It can be difficult to prove employment discrimination because employers generally do not come right out and admit their discriminatory practices. However, our experienced employment attorneys can use patterns of behavior or comparisons with other employees to prove your discrimination claim. For example, if you were fired because your employer cited specific mistakes on the job, we can compare your actions to other employees of different racial or religious backgrounds, or of younger age groups who made the same types of mistakes, yet continue to be employed.
Our NY Discrimination Attorneys have expertise in cases involving gender discrimination, race discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, reverse discrimination, perceived sexual orientation discrimination, age discrimination, religious discrimination, criminal conviction discrimination, and cases involving various other forms of discrimination protected by a New York Law.
Racial & Cultural Discrimination
An employee may not be discriminated in the workplace based on their race, ethnicity, color or national origin. An employer cannot refuse to hire, promote or pay an equal rate because of any of these items. Additionally, an employee may not be fired, demoted or given less desirable shifts or work duties because of their race or cultural background. These laws also protect against harassment, badgering or other offensive behaviors based on race or ethnicity in the workplace.
Gender & Sexual Orientation
No employee should suffer negative employment actions based on their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status. Negative employment actions include, but are not limited to, firing, refusal to hire or promote, refusal to pay an equal rate, negative write-ups in job record, denial of benefits or other on-the-job punishments.
Sexual harassment is covered under these same federal and state anti-discrimination laws. When an employee is sexually harassed in the workplace, their claim comes under one of two umbrellas. If it was a request for sexual favors in exchange for positive outcomes like a promotion or raise, or a demand for sexual favors to prevent negative outcomes like firing or demotion, these are considered to be Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment claims. The employee was either told outright or understood it to be implied that their job would be affected by their compliance with these demands or requests.
The other type of sexual harassment is Hostile Work Environment sexual harassment. These cases include situations where an employee feels threatened, anxious or is otherwise impaired from performing their job duties due to harassing behaviors.
These behaviors may be in the form of physical harassment, which includes unnecessary touching, brushing against in small spaces or other forms of physical contact that are construed by the victim to be sexual in nature.
Other harassing behaviors could come in a verbal form, with repetitive commentary or jokes of a sexual nature. While a single instance of lewd remarks or comments is not enough to build a sexual harassment case, when these types of comments are proven to be pervasive and repetitive, they can be considered sexual harassment.
Additionally, an employee may feel sexually harassed by visual images in the workplace. Pornographic photos, computer desktop displays or other images of a sexual or suggestive nature that make an employee feel degraded or threatened are deemed illegal by New York anti-discrimination laws.
Anti-Discrimination laws also protect older employees against employment discrimination based on age. If an employee is able to perform all job-related duties, they may not be fired based on their age or given fewer shifts than others of younger age groups. Limiting the types of work permitted or number of shifts assigned to older employees can also be construed as age discrimination.
Disability, Pregnancy or Genetic Information Discrimination
Employers are prohibited from refusing to hire or demote employees based on pregnancy, disability or genetic markers. If an employee has proven their ability to perform all job functions, they cannot be discriminated against due to these factors. Health benefits cannot be refused to these employees, either, regardless of these pre-existing conditions. If an employee is asked about any of these traits during a job interview or promotion consideration, it could be considered discriminatory practices to prevent having to pay additional medical benefits or making reasonable accommodations for these employees.
While a newer type of discrimination, reverse discrimination is real and is illegal. Whether you have been denied a job because an employer prefers to hire individuals of their own race or religion, or you are a male who is denied paternity leave to care for a newborn when women are offered maternity leave, you may have a claim for reverse discrimination. The same anti-discrimination laws that are in place to protect those of specific classes can be used to protect you. Gender discrimination does not only protect one sex, but any gender. Race discrimination laws protect any race, not just those of minority status in specific areas. Our employment attorneys can help to build your case to show patterns of discriminatory behaviors in the workplace, even if you are a member of an historically privileged class.
Discrimination Representation in New York
Discrimination occurs in all types of environments. However, our NY Discrimination Attorneys only handle discrimination cases involving the workplace. Discrimination in the workplace can be difficult to prove because the employer usually does not provide an explanation – let alone a truthful one – explaining the reason for the termination. One of the best approaches we often take is to prove that unlawful acts may have played a role in your termination and evaluate how other employees who were not part of the protected class were treated. For example, age discrimination can be established by showing younger employees committed the same types of mistakes that the employer used to justify your termination and they were never terminated or even written up.
Our NY Discrimination Attorneys represent individuals who were terminated, denied promotions, had their pay or bonus reduce, were denied certain benefits, or suffered other types of adverse employment actions. We also assist employees who were wrongfully discharged, were the subject of discriminatory comments and were wrongly included in reductions in force.
If you were discriminated against in New York City or New York State, please call us for a free and confidential consultation.
New York Discrimination Lawyers : New York Discrimination & Wrongful Termination
At Castronovo and McKinney, we help both victims and witnesses get the representation they need to file a claim and protect their rights. Our team of lawyers are familiar with defending cases concerning workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and other employment law violations. Our employment lawyers help victims build their cases and make claims in court. If you think you have become a victim or a witness of a potential employment discrimination law case, schedule a free consultation with our lawyers. During the consultation, we will determine your case and help you begin the claims process.
Contact Our New York Employment Attorneys Today
Your right to work is protected by New York law and should not be jeopardized by discriminatory practices. If you feel you have been discriminated in the workplace, contact our offices today for a free initial consultation of your case. We will help you determine if you do, in fact, have a discrimination claim against your employer and will work with you to protect your job, your income and your right to work in New York.