Leaders in Law Profile on William K. Phillips

Leaders in law

Recently, Phillips and Associates’ Managing Partner, William Phillips, was named a Leader in Law. The selection process for the Leaders-in-Law database of lawyers involves rigorous vetting. People who are added to the database have established track records of success, as well as unique characteristics and knowledge of their particular practice area and any local requirements for that practice area. Users of the Leaders-in-Law search engines include large multi-national corporations and successful entrepreneurs.

The Leaders-in-Law profile discusses the progression of Mr. Phillips from his strong New York City roots to his experience in business and other areas prior to becoming an employment lawyer. Born in Brooklyn, he studied sociology and anthropology before going to law school, at which he studied entertainment law and landlord-tenant law. He is admitted to practice before the New York bar, the Eastern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the Western District of New York, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

At Phillips & Associates, Mr. Phillips and our other attorneys handle plaintiffs’ employment law claims under federal, state, and local laws. There are multiple federal employment laws that protect different characteristics. These include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Most of the federal anti-discrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They apply to mid-size and larger employers. You cannot pursue Title VII relief unless you work for an employer with at least 15 employees.

Often, more relief is available under the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. These laws protect more characteristics than do the federal laws. They also tend to protect smaller employers.

Protected characteristics under the New York State Human Rights Law include race, color, age, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, military status, disability, domestic violence victim status, criminal and arrest records, and genetic characteristics that might predispose you to an illness. It is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee in terms of the terms or conditions of their employment, such as access to training programs, privileges, or compensation, based on any of these protected characteristics. Employers are not allowed to print or circulate job ads that specify a limitation or discriminate based on those protected characteristics, unless the employer can show that the absence of the specific protected characteristic is a bona fide occupational qualification.

Furthermore, employers should provide reasonable accommodations for a job applicant or employee’s known disabilities, unless to do so would present an undue hardship or fundamentally change the nature of the facility. Reasonable accommodations are also required for an employee’s sincerely held religious practices, except when they would present an undue hardship for the business.

The New York City Human Rights Law protects workers in connection with protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, gender, citizenship status, gender identity, disability, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, caregiver status, arrest or conviction record, credit history, salary history, unemployment status, and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sex crimes. An employer is not allowed to discriminate against you on the basis of any of these protected characteristics in connection with hiring, salary, work assignments, benefits, promotions, performance evaluations, discipline, or termination, or any other decision that affects the terms and conditions of your employment. As with state law, reasonable accommodations should be made in connection with the disability or religious needs of job applicants or employees. Employers are also required to give reasonable accommodations to individuals who have faced certain threats or acts of violence.

Mr. Phillips and his colleagues at Phillips & Associates are well-versed in bringing lawsuits under federal, state, and local laws that prohibit employment discrimination. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or contact us through our online form. We handle employment litigation in New York City, as well as Long Island, Westchester County, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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