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Communities Served

Communities Served

At Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we believe that discrimination and harassment in the workplace are unacceptable. As we have seen, most workers are deeply humiliated when they are subjected to discrimination or other mistreatment by an employer on the basis of their race, sex, gender, disability, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristics over which they have no control. Harassment and discrimination can take a toll on even the most productive worker. Unfortunately, sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination are also prevalent in the workplace. People are often afraid to complain about discriminatory conduct for fear of losing their job. This may result in not only a loss in productivity but also physical and psychological effects like insomnia and depression. 

Federal Laws Governing Employees Nationally

Federal anti-discrimination laws apply throughout the United States. For example, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about a Title VII violation in either state, as long as your employer is covered. Title VII covers employers with at least 15 employees, and it protects the following characteristics: Race, religion, national origin, sex, and color. Similarly, you are entitled to a reasonable accommodation for a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act as long as your employer has at least 15 employees. If you bring suit under federal laws enforced by the EEOC, your compensatory damages are capped based on the size of your employer.

Protections in New York State & New York City

In most cases, state and local laws provide more expansive protections than federal laws do. This is especially true in New York City. The New York City Human Rights Law is considered one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. It protects more characteristics than do the federal laws and has a strong anti-retaliation provision. 

Protected characteristics under this law that are not expressly covered under federal law include, among others:

  • Alienage or citizenship status
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Marital status and partnership status
  • Prior criminal convictions or arrests
  • Caregiver status
  • Unemployment status
  • Credit history
  • Status as a victim of sex offenses, stalking, or domestic violence

With certain exceptions, none of these protected characteristics is supposed to be the basis of an adverse employment decision or workplace harassment. Also, a prospective employer is not supposed to ask you questions during interviews, make statements, or write job ads that suggest a bias for or against applicants based on any of these protected characteristics. Questions regarding your family status and pregnancy-related questions can be discriminatory. Additionally, requests for dates and sexual favors are illegal during the interview process. The New York City law applies to employers with at least four employees. It does not cap compensatory damages. An employment attorney at our New York City office can help you explore whether you may have a claim under this law.

Protections for New Jersey Employees

Employers in New Jersey are subject to the Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), which is also favorable to employees, although it does not protect as many categories as does the New York City Human Rights Law. All non-federal employers in New Jersey must abide by the Law Against Discrimination. It also provides broader coverage to workers than do federal statutes in certain categories that both federal and state laws cover. Unlike the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, for example, age discrimination is prohibited against any worker who is at least 18. The ADEA only protects workers who are over 40.

Unlike with federal anti-discrimination laws, you can hold liable both a New Jersey employer and an individual who aided or abetted discrimination or harassment against you under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. While compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII and other laws enforced by the EEOC are capped, they are not capped under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Furthermore, as with the New York City Human Rights Law, you need not exhaust your administrative remedies before suing in New Jersey, as you would if you bring your charge under federal law.

Consult a Lawyer

Our firm may be able to help you with an employment discrimination or harassment case if you work in any of the communities that we serve. Contact us for an appointment with an attorney. 

We can be reached via phone at (866) 229-9441 or you can contact us online.

Our Office Locations

New York Office

45 Broadway #430

New York, NY 10006

Phone: (914) 533-1509

Fax: (212) 901-2107

Princeton Office

100 Overlook Center 2nd Floor

Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (866) 475-4267

Fax: (212) 901-2107

Long Island Office

585 Stewart Ave #410

Garden City, NY 11530

Phone: (516) 365-3731

Fax: (212) 901-2107

Philadelphia Office

1635 Market St #1600A

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: (215) 315-7694

Fax: (212) 901-2107

White Plains Office

50 Main St #1000

White Plains, NY 10606

Phone: (914) 533-1509

Fax: (212) 901-2107

Miami Office

175 SW 7th St #1208

Miami, FL 33130

Phone: (305) 549-5120

Fax: (212) 901-2107

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