Employment Discrimination Attorneys

Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in employment for many reasons. Often, large municipalities like New York City will also have their own employment discrimination laws. Federally, laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit certain types of discrimination in the workplace. These state and municipal laws will often include broader prohibitions against employment discrimination than federal law. For example, employers subject to these laws may not discriminate in hiring, firing, or pay. Other prohibitions include no discrimination in job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits, or any other term or condition of employment.

The prohibited discrimination may not be based on race, gender, religion, age, height, weight, sex, personal characteristics associated with race, or based on marriage to an individual of a certain race or color. Other prohibited bases for employment discrimination include national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, and so on.

New York Discrimination in Employment Laws

In New York, both federal and state anti-discrimination statutes apply to employment decisions. In addition, the City of New York has its own anti-discrimination law, which must be complied with by employers

Federal Racial Discrimination in Employment Law

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal law regarding racial discrimination in employment. As noted above, the law applies to discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, marital status,  characteristics associated with race, and many other types of discrimination.  The law governs all aspects of employment and includes harassment. Discrimination can occur when both the victim and the perpetrator are of the same race, gender, or sexual orientation.

New York State Racial Discrimination in Employment Laws

Under the New York State Human Rights Law prohibits, among other things, discrimination in hiring or licensing.  The areas in which these prohibitions apply include:

  • Hiring, firing, and advancement
  • Employment agency handling of employment applications
  • Employment advertising seeking or excluding a particular race, gender, or other groups
  • Retaliation for claims under the statute
  • Discrimination in apprenticeship programs

If you believe that you have been subject to any of these acts, you should consult an experienced and knowledgeable attorney working in the area of employment discrimination. The attorney will be able, at no cost, to discuss your claim with you and advise you as to whether it can be pursued under the law.

New York City Human Rights Law

The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits, among other things, discrimination in employment. In addition to the types of discrimination discussed above, NYC also prohibits employment discrimination based on:

  • Arrest or conviction record
  • Caregiver status
  • Credit history
  • Pre-employment Marijuana Testing
  • Unemployment status
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions
  • Salary History
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, and sex offenses

Common Discrimination in Employment Cases

  • Systemic racial, sexual, and national origin discrimination tolerated by management resulting in a hostile work environment
  • Discrimination in hiring
  • Discrimination based on alleged customer preference
  • Limiting a particular group’s workplace participation to certain “lower” jobs
  • Disregard of objective standards in avoiding the selection of candidates in one of the prohibited groups
  • Differing pay scales for those in different protected groups
  • Retaliation for claims of discrimination

What You Should Do if You Suspect Employment Discrimination

Discrimination law in New York is complex. It is complicated, first, because the law itself is complex, with many different bases for unlawful discrimination and ways of basing a claim on them. Second, it is complicated because at least three separate statutes may apply to any given case, especially in New York City. For these reasons, if you think you may have been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination, you should take some important steps, as well as contacting experienced New York employment discrimination counsel..

Document Your Case

The nature of your claim will tell you the kinds of documentation you need. For example, if you are claiming discrimination in hiring, you will need to produce any test scores you received and find out the basis on which others were hired. If you are claiming unlawful discrimination in wages, then you will need access to payroll records. If you are claiming retaliation, then you will need your employee file. Since most of these records will not be easy for you to gain access to, you should consider working with a knowledgeable employment discrimination attorney to assist you in getting such access.

Keep Communicating with Your Supervisors

Despite how badly things may be going, if you were, in fact, hired and are still working at the firm, be sure to keep communicating with your employers. They may not be aware of the situation in its entirety or may be trying to resolve the problem quietly 

Talk to HR

Stay in touch with Human Resources as well.  The people in HR understand the employment discrimination rules. Therefore, they will probably at least listen to your story with some sympathy and may be able to explain to you why the company is taking the steps it is (or is not) taking regarding your claim. However, even if HR doesn’t give you either compassion or wisdom, as your employment discrimination attorney will tell you, when and if you make a formal claim, you must demonstrate that you exhausted your in-house remedies. So, you should be sure to take any steps that your employee handbook says you should before making a formal claim.

What Remedies Are Available to Me

What you can recover through filing a complaint ultimately depends on the nature of your claim. If your claim involves intentional discrimination, you may recover both compensatory and punitive damages (limited based on the number of employees at your company). For discrimination in hiring, the remedy may include getting the job, possibly with back pay and benefits. The employer will also have to stop the discrimination and take steps to prevent it in the future. Finally, you may be able to recover your attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and court costs. Your attorney will be able to help you understand what you may recover.

Retain an Attorney as Soon as You Can

If you believe that you may have an employment discrimination claim, it is essential to consult an experienced employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand whether you have a claim and what remedies may be available to you. He or she can also help you continue working with your employer and preparing and maintaining needed records.

Call a New York Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

At A.Y.G., PLLC, we know how to get the victims of racial discrimination the compensation to which they are entitled. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today at 646-201-8625 or contact us online.