Most people spend many hours at work, and they hope to be judged based on their qualifications and experience, rather than their identities. Whether you are concerned about being targeted for workplace harassment because you are a woman, or you are concerned that you did not receive a promotion because of your race, it is important to talk to a skillful employment attorney. You can consult New York City employment lawyer Danielle M. Patterson at Phillips & Associates. She is dedicated to fighting for employees’ rights.
Ms. Patterson graduated Cum Laude from New York University with a B.S.W. in Social Work, and from Columbia University with an M.S.W., with a concentration in Advanced Clinical Social Work and Contemporary Social Issues in June 2009. In maintaining her commitment to and passion for social justice, she then received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, New York. While in law school, Ms. Patterson served as a Secretary of the Labor and Employment Relations Society, and as a Member of OutLaws and Allies. Ms. Patterson also published the paper Title VII Bars Discrimination in Employment Based on Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Sex and...Sexual Orientation?, which discussed the vital impact of the pending Supreme Court case Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda in the fight against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employment discrimination. Employment discrimination is actionable when an employer makes an adverse employment decision based on an employee’s membership in a protected class.
Federal anti-discrimination laws apply to midsize and large companies and are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each of these laws prohibits discrimination based on different protected characteristics. Title VII, for example, prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s race, color, national origin, religion, or sex.
The New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of various protected categories. They protect more characteristics than federal law does. The city law is widely considered one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. Employers in the city with at least four employees need to comply with the New York City Human Rights Law, irrespective of whether the employees are part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent. Certain provisions apply to all employers regardless of whether they have four employees, such as the prohibition against workplace sexual harassment.
Protected characteristics under the city law include color, race, national origin, religion, immigration status, age, arrest or conviction record, caregiver status, employment status, salary history, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence or stalking or sexual violence, marital or partnership status, and pregnancy.
Damages that you may be able to pursue through an employment discrimination lawsuit include back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and fringe benefits. However, the specific damages that you can recover will depend upon the law that you use to support your lawsuit. For example, while you may be able to obtain punitive damages under Title VII in a situation involving intentional discrimination, retaliation, or harassment with reckless indifference or malice toward you, these damages will be capped based on the employer’s size. There are also situations in which it may be possible to seek and obtain injunctive relief. This might take the form of a court order requiring an employer to stop future misconduct and change its policies or requiring an employer to reinstate you.
If you are concerned about an employment issue in New York City or the surrounding areas, Danielle Patterson and the other attorneys at Phillips & Associates are ready to advise you. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form to set up a free consultation. We handle employment litigation in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx, as well as Nassau, Westchester, and Suffolk Counties. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not recover any fees unless we get compensation for you.