Discrimination in the Workplace
Throughout the State of New York and also nationwide, employee discrimination and harassment are illegal. Not only do state and federal laws protect employees against unequal and unfair treatment, but they also prohibit a hostile work environment. Despite decades of legislation, injustice still occurs. However, when it does, you can level the playing field by obtaining experienced employment discrimination lawyers, who can help protect your rights.
Based on recent New York State law, no company of any size may discriminate against employees. New York State anti-discrimination law is extensive, protecting employees against many types of discrimination based on the following:
- Age or perceived age
- National origin
- Citizenship status
- Gender (including sexual harassment)
- Gender identity and expression
- Sexual orientation
- Military Status
- Marital Status
- Partnership status
- Caregiver status
- Arrest or conviction record
- Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses
Employees also receive legal protection against retaliation for filing a claim, participating in an investigation or testifying in lawsuit that deals with discrimination.
Our Legal Focus
Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Treating an employee unfavorably based on a disability is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and also under New York laws. Employers must provide reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee unless it would create significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
Examples of accommodations include wheelchair accessibility or an interpreter for a deaf person or someone who can read for a blind person. Other examples are a reasonable amount of time off from work to recover from an injury or an illness, light duty, job restructuring, transfer or job reassignment, modified work schedule, working from home, breaks to administer medication, and provision of a job coach. Failure to provide reasonable accommodations is a form of disability discrimination.
Types of discrimination also include harassing an applicant or employee based on disability. The law protects disabled workers from supervisors, other workers and clients or customers harassing them based on their disability. As with other discrimination cases, under federal law you have 300 calendar days to file a disability claim with the EEOC and if filing with the State of NY, one year from the date of the last disability discrimination incident. Several disability discrimination cases the Law Office of Peter A. Romero has handled include:
Disability Discrimination Case Testimonial
One of our clients posted the following testimonial after we successfully handled his case:
Grateful beyond words
5.0 stars Avvo Review
Posted by John
March 5, 2016
Having met Peter has changed my opinion entirely on the profession of attorney at law. I met a gentle, caring, intelligent, and capable man in Peter Romero. I so badly needed a viable and dedicated advocate to stand tall against the Global giant, UPS. With their endless well of finances, they surely sent their best to dismantle our efforts of proving that I was not only discriminated against under the guidelines and parameters of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even greater and far more damaging was their constant retaliation for having complained of any such discriminatory actions against me. I was confused, lost, and very alone. When I found Peter he swore to defend me to the end. A calm came over me as I immediately knew his honest heart would be noticed by the jury. He sought not to attack the defendants, but methodically delivered a clear and concise explanation to the letter of the law, unlike his adversaries who, while sinking deeper and deeper, resorted to disparaging and inflammatory remarks in an effort to cast the shadow of doubt upon our case. Despite the fact that all evidence pointed to their unethical, immoral, and illegal acts, the onus was on Peter to prove that beyond a shadow of doubt, they had wronged a long term employee with a disability. In the end, Peter stood tall against Goliath and felled him with spectacular courtroom demeanor and pinpoint accuracy. Peter and his team, underdogs, exited the courtroom victorious. My life was restored, and the laws changed as a product of fine litigation. Words cannot explain my appreciation for his support, but also for revealing the heart of a lion. I owe this man my life.
Hostile Work environment
What constitutes a hostile work environment? A hostile work environment exists when unwelcome and discriminatory conduct or communication are offensive, intimidating or interfere with an employee’s work performance. Discrimination often manifests in the form of physical or verbal threats, offensive jokes, derogatory comments, photos and other types of ridicule. In such instances, the employee targeted for harassment may not be the only victim. Other employees who hear or see the harassment may also be adversely affected and their work performance impacted.
in the Workplace
Gender discrimination occurs when an employer bases an employment decision on gender, whether involving a man or a woman. In addition, employers must pay women the same wages as men for doing the same work. Sexual harassment is a specific type of gender discrimination, and a gender discrimination lawyer can explain your legal rights and available recourse. If you are filing a sexual harassment claim under NY State law, you have up to three years from the date of the last incident to file your claim. All other types of gender discrimination and employment discrimination claims have a one-year statute of limitations.
Wrongful termination or wrongful dismissal in New York occurs when an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason. Typically, illegal reasons fall under some type of discrimination. Unless an employment agreement specifies otherwise, NY employment is at-will, which means an employer can fire you for any reason at all. Retaliatory termination is also unlawful. In other words, employers cannot fire employees as a type of retaliation because the employee filed a discrimination or whistleblower claim, or participated in an investigation or testified against the employer in a discrimination complaint or whistleblower claim.
Testimonial Based on a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
Posted by Carol
March 16, 2016
Mr. Romero represented me in mediation with my employer who wrongfully terminated me. I am VERY happy with the outcome. I definitely needed an attorney for this and he was an excellent choice. My employer suggested that my hiring an attorney would not be to my benefit, so I was hesitant, but followed my “gut” feeling that I was wrongfully terminated. I’m not allowed to get more specific, but not only did he obtain an excellent settlement, but he was so warm in our conversations as well as forthcoming about what to expect and what he would be able to do for me.
Age discrimination in the workplace occurs when employees, who are age 40 or older are treated adversely because of their age. It is illegal for an employer not to hire or to fire an employee based on age. Employers cannot run ads that ask for “young employees” or deny a deserved promotion or base any decision regarding work on age instead of merit.
Under federal law called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), age discrimination applies to employers with more than 20 employees. However, New York State law applies to all companies regardless of size, and companies cannot base employment decisions on age. This law extends to independent contractors as well. If you are filing with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), you have 300 calendar days to file a claim. When filing age discrimination claims with New York State, you have one year from the last incident of age discrimination to file your claim.
Take Advantage of Our Experience with Employment Discrimination Law
Let us help you protect your rights and seek justice, whether under federal, New York State or New York City law. We represent clients on Long Island, and in Westchester, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Northern New Jersey. Call our office at (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
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490 Wheeler Road, Suite 250
Hauppauge, NY 11788
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New York, NY 10007