Analeidis Espinal is a staff member at the employment law firm of Phillips & Associates. She grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. She has a friendly, outgoing, and charismatic personality. Ms. Espinal has excellent communication skills and effective leadership abilities. She has prior experience in service jobs and understands the kinds of workplace issues that the clients of our New York City employment lawyers face.
Unfortunately, some employers do not comply with their legal duties. They may discriminate against or harass specific workers based on protected characteristics, or they may perpetrate wage theft. Sometimes employers retaliate against employees who complain about this misconduct. It can be helpful to have an experienced workplace discrimination attorney on your side. At Phillips & Associates, we can evaluate your specific circumstances and determine whether you may have a viable claim under federal, state, or local laws.
There are multiple federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics. Many of these federal laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the EEOC administers a federal law, it is necessary to file a charge before suing for damages in federal court. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects race, sex, religion, national origin, and color, and it is enforced by the EEOC. The EEOC also enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Harassment based on a protected characteristic is a form of discrimination. Harassment based on protected characteristics, such as race, religion, national origin, or disability, can be actionable as hostile work environment harassment. To show that conduct is hostile work environment harassment, an employee must show that it was either severe or pervasive, such that a hostile work environment was generated. For example, a hostile work environment based on race might be created as a result of a supervisor who uses the n-word to denigrate a black employee.
Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of harassment, and it may be actionable as quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs if an authority figure in the workplace asks for sexual favors in exchange for taking a specific action like promoting an employee or not firing an employee. A hostile work environment is created when an employee frequently receives unwelcome sexual advances or offensive comments, or is subjected to severe misconduct in the form of unwelcome actions or comments based on their sex. Title VII is the federal law that prohibits sexual harassment. The New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit sexual harassment.
In the state of New York, there are certain laws that have been enacted to protect the public policy interest in making sure that citizens with criminal records are able to work. Discrimination based on a job applicant's criminal history is not allowed unless there is a direct relationship between the conviction and the kind of job, or unless hiring a job applicant would present an unreasonable risk to property or people.
Some types of discrimination are still not fully taken into account by federal laws. For example, Title VII does not expressly prohibit sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination. However, the EEOC, which enforces Title VII, has interpreted Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination. State and local laws have express prohibitions against sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination, or harassment based on these protected characteristics. It may be better to pursue damages under state or local laws if you faced discrimination because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender-nonconforming, or transgender. In 2019, New York City passed the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act.
Analeidis Espinal is committed to protecting the rights of workers. If you are mistreated based on a protected characteristic in a New York City workplace, you should consult the experienced trial attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form. We handle employment litigation in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, as well as Pennsylvania and New Jersey.