The National Law Journal recently published its list of 2019 Elite Trial Lawyers Finalists, naming Phillips & Associates as finalists in the categories of Discrimination, Employment Rights, and Racial Discrimination. The list was narrowed down from 300 submissions from law firms that devote a significant amount of their practice to plaintiffs’ matters. The finalists were selected by editors and reporters from ALM and The National Law Journal. The National Law Journal noted that the firms chosen as finalists were selected due to their cutting-edge work on behalf of plaintiffs over the last year and a half, as well as their strong record of favorable verdicts and settlements over the past three to five years. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City employment lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of discrimination and harassment recover damages for their harm.
Laws Protecting Employees
Employees should be able to work without fear of discrimination. For example, a workplace should be free from racist symbols like nooses, and supervisors or coworkers should not make racist comments toward or about a non-white employee. Unfortunately, these types of misconduct are not uncommon, even though local, state, and federal laws have been enacted to fight against discrimination in the workplace. While these laws all prohibit discrimination, they provide varying levels of protection, and they do not all apply to the same employers or protect the same classes of employees.
The New York City Human Rights Law
The New York City Human Rights Law, which is a local law, is one of the toughest anti-discrimination laws in the country. It protects employees from discrimination based on their perceived or actual color, race, creed, national origin, or citizenship status. It also prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s age, disability, or uniformed service, or marital or partnership status. Lastly, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on his or her gender, sexual and reproductive health decisions, or sexual orientation. The broad provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law protect employees from many forms of discrimination, and it applies to employers with four or more employees. If an employee successfully proves a discrimination claim under the New York City Human Rights Law, there is no limit on the amount of compensatory or punitive damages that he or she may be awarded.
The New York State Human Rights Law
While the New York State Human Rights Law does not provide as comprehensive protection from discrimination as the New York City Human Rights Law, it nonetheless broadly prohibits discrimination. Classes and characteristics that are protected under the New York State Human Rights Law include race, age, creed, color, and national origin. Sex, sexual orientation, disability, and military and marital status are protected as well. Notably, the New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits discrimination based on a person's status as a victim of domestic violence, any arrest or criminal records, and any genetic traits that might predispose the person to an illness. The New York State Human Rights Law also applies to employers with four or more employees. Unlike the New York City Human Rights Law, however, it does not allow a plaintiff to recover punitive damages.
Federal Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace
Lastly, numerous federal laws protect employees from discrimination. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act all prohibit discrimination. Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, and national origin, applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The damages recoverable in a Title VII claim are limited based on the number of employees who work for the employer.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Employment Discrimination Attorney
A workplace should be a safe environment, but many employees are subjected to ongoing harassment and discrimination. At Phillips & Associates, our practice is limited to the representation of employees, and we will work tirelessly to help you in the pursuit of compensation for your harm. We can be reached at (866) 229-9441 or through the form online to schedule a conference regarding your case. Our firm represents employees in New York City and in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.