Popular services for employment law include employment discrimination litigation, harassment lawsuits, wage and hour claims, and employment and severance agreements. Phillips and Associates is a plaintiff’s firm. We represent workers who have been sexually harassed or discriminated against or harassed in the workplace due to their membership in a protected class. Our seasoned New York City employment discrimination lawyers understand the nuances of state, local, and federal laws and how they may apply to your case. Most workers don't fully understand what their legal rights are or what options to exercise to best protect them. If you suspect you were discriminated against, it is wise to consult us and obtain our popular services so that your best interests are advanced.
Employment Discrimination Litigation
In New York City, you can pursue your rights to be treated equally in the workplace under the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act, and other laws.
In most cases, we will need to show that (1) you belonged to a protected class and (2) your employer made a negative employment decision against you due to your membership in the protected class. For instance:
- You may have a claim under the New York State Human Rights Law if you were demoted because you came out as a lesbian. You may also have claims under the city and federal laws.
- You may have a claim under the New York State Human Rights Law if you were subject to inferior terms and conditions of employment because you are transgender.
- You may have a national origin harassment claim under the New York City Human Rights Law if you are Middle Eastern and you were treated less well than your white coworkers.
- You may have a disability discrimination claim under the New York City Human Rights Law if you asked for a reasonable accommodation for your cancer and your employer didn't provide an accommodation, even though it would not have presented an undue hardship for it to do so.
- You may be able to pursue a pay discrimination claim against your employer under state law if you were paid less than a coworker for substantially similar work as an accountant because you are Black.
- Additionally, any comments or harassment that are based on your Race, Religion, Gender, National Origin, Sexual Orientation or other protected trait may be actionable. A majority of our cases are based on harassment.
Legal representation for workplace harassment lawsuits is another popular service for employment law. Under amendments to the New York State Human Rights Law, a lower standard of proof must be met for harassment claims than what is required under federal law; you may be able to recover damages if we can show harassment subjected you to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment due to your membership in a protected class. Your employer can only evade liability if it can show the harassing conduct doesn't go above what a reasonable victim of discrimination would deem petty slights or trivial inconveniences.
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, you may have a basis to sue for harassment if you are treated less well than another employee. This is also a more relaxed standard than what you must prove under federal law.
A sample of our services include representing victims who have experienced:
- Age Discrimination: This is typically terminating or not hiring someone because of their age. The employer may think you are too old or too young to preform your duties. We look for any comments that the employer makes which might show they are motivated by your age.
- Criminal History or Criminal Conviction Discrimination: This typically occurs during the hiring process or after you’re actually hired if the employer discovers you have a criminal conviction and terminates you. In these cases, we look at the timing of the termination and whether the employer conducted the proper analysis relating to the conviction and the job function.
- Disability Discrimination or Failure to Accommodate a Medical Condition: This type of case often involves questions of timing and whether the employer discussed any accommodations they could offer regarding your medical condition. For example, if you tell your employer you have a medical condition which qualifies as a disability and need time off, but the employer terminates you, this would amount to disability discrimination.
- National Origin Discrimination: Some employers may not hire a person based on their national origin. While this is true, we often handle cases in which a worker is hired, but then harassed based on national origin. There may be national origin harassment if your supervisor or co-worker constantly teases you, makes jokes, or makes derogatory comments based upon where you are from.
- Pregnancy Discrimination: Pregnancy discrimination is also usually a question of timing. You’re working and everything is fine. As soon as you let your employer know you’re pregnant, however, everything changes. You’re suddenly a terrible worker. This typically happens at one of three stages: (1) immediately after you let them know of your pregnancy, (2) immediately after you start to show you’re pregnant or (3) when you return from maternity leave. You may have a case if your employer makes comments regarding your pregnancy or your ability to be a mother and work. You may be having a difficult pregnancy and need accommodations, such as extra bathroom breaks, modified schedule for doctors’ appointments, or modified job duties if you cannot lift boxes. You may have a difficult or dangerous pregnancy and need an accommodation for a medical condition.
- Race Discrimination: This can be a failure to hire or promote based on your race. However, it can also consist of a racist’s use of slurs, such as the n-word, or derogatory comments while you’re working. We have also found racist paraphernalia, such as nooses found in the workplace, amount to race discrimination.
- Religious Discrimination: This type of discrimination may involve a failure to accommodate a specific work schedule you need due to your religion. Some people also experience negative comments regarding their religion or religious customs.
- Sex or Gender Discrimination: This may involve a failure to hire or promote based on your sex/gender or inappropriate and harassing comments resulting in a hostile work environment.
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination: We see a lot of cases where a supervisor or co-worker questions an employee’s sexual orientation and then makes fun of them. It could also occur if a supervisor or coworker figures out your sexual orientation, and then starts calling you names or making inappropriate comments.
- Sexual Harassment Discrimination: Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace is still very prevalent. Sexist comments, requests for sexual favors, dates and comments about a person’s looks can result in a claim for sexual harassment. We have seen cases in which supervisors and co-workers send inappropriate photos, emojis and text messages to employees. Harassment can occur in the office, while you’re working from home, on a business trip, at an office function, or even at an office holiday party.
Your employer should not take an adverse action against you because you complained about discrimination or pursued remedies for discrimination available under state, city, or federal law. Retaliation can occur under many different circumstances. For example, it may be retaliation if:
- Your employer shifts you to a less prestigious department because you complained of sexual harassment.
- It may be retaliation if you are put on light duty after filing a charge with the EEOC for religious and race discrimination.
- You may have a retaliation claim under the New York City Human Rights Law if something happened in the workplace that would deter a person from engaging in protected activity. For example, you should retain an attorney if you were written up for complaining sexual harassment.
Another popular service an employment attorney offers victims is the drafting and reporting the complaint of discrimination or harassment. Its important to identify the discrimination properly in order to have protection against retaliation. Many employees don’t know how to do this and can be fired without recourse. Employment lawyers also make sure you are reporting the discrimination to the proper person and keeping accurate proof of your discrimination complaint.
Wage and Hour
Another popular service is legal representation in connection with wage and hour matters. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides federal rules related to minimum pay, overtime and other issues related to your wages if you are a nonexempt employee. New York law also sets forth rules related to wage and hour claims, and to the extent they are more favorable than federal law, they will apply. Employment discrimination and retaliation claims can intersect with wage and hour and other employment law disputes. Our firm may be able to represent you and counsel you in discrimination claims that also involve other employment law disputes.
Employment Agreements and Severance Agreements
The drafting of employment agreements or reviewing of severance agreements is another popular service for employment law. In some cases, the language in an employment agreement impacts matters such as grievance mechanisms, pay, and policies related to employment discrimination or liquidated damages. It is important for us to evaluate your agreement as a potential piece of evidence in your employment discrimination, harassment, or retaliation lawsuit. You will also want an employment attorney to review a severance agreement if your employer offers you one. Severance agreements may release your employer of any claims you have against them in return for a sum of money. First, you need to understand if you have any claims against your employer such as a sexual harassment claim, a discrimination claim, or a wage claim. Second, you’ll need to make sure the amount of compensation offered is sufficient to release those claims. Our employment attorneys can assist with that analysis and negotiate on your behalf. You also need to understand the terms of the severance agreement. Many severance agreements are confidential which means you cannot discuss the terms of the agreement with anyone. Additionally, a severance agreement may restrict your ability to work in a certain geographic location. Usually, they also contain a clause that you can’t speak or write/post anything negative about your employer on the Internet. Employees need to be aware of theses terms and have them negotiated by an employment lawyer to be fair and even-sided.
Hire Our Employment Law Attorneys to Represent You in Your Lawsuit
Your employer may have a team of skillful attorneys working to defend it. Usually, companies have far greater resources at their disposal than their workers do. Our plaintiff’s lawyers provide popular services for employment law matters. Phillips & Associates fights for workers treated unfairly on the job in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, or Nassau County. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form.