What Is Needed for a Discrimination Lawsuit?

In order to pursue a discrimination lawsuit, you need evidence you were discriminated against in the workplace based on a characteristic the law protects. Discrimination is prohibited in several different contexts, including employment and public accommodations. In most cases, you will need to show that you were treated adversely by an employer because you possess a protected characteristic and as a result you suffered harm. The seasoned New York City employment discrimination attorneys of Phillips and Associates may be able to pursue damages on your behalf. Our team is dedicated to fighting for workers who have been harmed by their employers based on their identity or personal history. We offer free consultations to those who believe they may have been discriminated against.

Requirements for a Discrimination Lawsuit in New York City

Federal, state, and local statutes forbid discrimination arising out of a range of protected characteristics. To establish a discrimination lawsuit under state law, you will need to show:

  • You suffered an adverse employment action
  • The action was taken because you have a trait protected under the New York State Human Rights Law.

The New York State Human Rights Law covers all employers within the state. Even employers with only one employee are covered. Moreover, nonemployees are also covered under the law. Workers who may be protected even though they are not employees include:

  • Consultants
  • Vendors
  • Subcontractors
  • Contractors
  • Anybody providing services under contract to the workplace.

The employees of these parties are also protected under the state law against discrimination.

Adverse employment actions can include:

  • Failure to hire
  • Demotion
  • Failure to promote
  • Disparate pay
  • Failure to provide training opportunities on an equal basis
  • Terminations
  • Layoffs.

The state law provides protection for a broad range of characteristics. You may have a claim under state law, for example, if:

  • You were denied a promotion because you are a pregnant woman who is married and the employer holds outdated stereotypes about what pregnant women are capable of doing in management positions.
  • You may have a claim if you were terminated because you asked for a reasonable accommodation for your fibromyalgia, and although it wouldn’t have presented an undue hardship, your employer refused to grant you the accommodation.

Discriminatory harassment is one form of employment discrimination. In order to demonstrate harassment under the state law, you'll need to show you were subjected to inferior privileges, terms, or conditions of employment. Employers cannot discriminate against or harass any person based on their:

  • Sexual orientation
  • National origin
  • Color
  • Creed
  • Race
  • Gender identity
  • Sex
  • Military status
  • Disability
  • Familial status
  • Marital status
  • Domestic violence victim status
  • Predisposing genetic characteristics or age.

Each case is different. In most cases, however, employers have significantly resources that their workers do. Your employer’s defenses may involve demonstrating that you haven’t met the requirements of a discrimination lawsuit or contesting what seems to be subtle distinction related to your right to relief. It is highly unlikely that an employer charged with discrimination will provide all the information and evidence you need to mount a lawsuit for damages against them.

The experienced lawyers of Phillips and Associates can closely examine the circumstances under which your New York City employer mistreated you to determine whether there are grounds for relief and how best to present your story in negotiations, mediation, or at trial.

What Is Needed for a Discrimination Lawsuit Under City Law

In order to pursue damages for discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law, your employer must have at least four employees. The city law prohibits employment discrimination based on:

  • Color
  • Immigration or citizenship status
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Arrest or conviction record
  • Caregiver status
  • Status as a veteran or active military service
  • Preemployment marijuana testing
  • Credit history
  • Salary history
  • Sexual and reproductive health decisions
  • Domestic violence or sex crime victim status.

You may have a claim under city law, for example, if:

  • You were denied a job because you are a veteran.
  • You were denied a job because your employer found out that as a teenager you protested the closing of an abortion clinic and were arrested.

Requirements for Bringing Lawsuits Under Federal Law

Requirements to pursue damages under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tend to be more stringent than the requirements under state or local laws. Even before bringing a lawsuit under a federal antidiscrimination law, you'll likely need to file a charge with the EEOC within a narrow timeframe. You will need to be able to show an adverse employment action was taken against you because of a characteristic protected under one of the federal antidiscrimination laws. Protected traits under Title VII include:

  • National origin
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Religion.

For instance:

  • You may have a religious discrimination claim if you were denied a job that you were promised because you revealed you were a Jehovah's Witness.
  • You may have a race discrimination or national origin discrimination claim if you were terminated because you are Asian American and your employer believes you’re associated with coronavirus.

Experienced Trial Lawyers to Counsel You About the Needs of a Discrimination Lawsuit

You might find yourself wondering what is needed for a discrimination lawsuit. The experienced New York City attorneys of Phillips & Associates can tell you what’s needed for your discrimination lawsuit to be successful. We have many years of combined experience representing workers who have faced poor treatment on the job in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, or Nassau County. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form.

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