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Discrimination Against the Unemployed Under the NYCHRL

New York City Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of Workers

Sometimes we have no control over the circumstances that lead to a layoff or termination, such as when a company is downsizing or going bankrupt. Even worse, no matter how stellar your resume may be, a prospective employer may deem the fact that you are unemployed as a sign that you are not a good fit for an open position. This situation can make it extremely difficult for unemployed individuals to secure new jobs and can put further stress on their financial stability. According to New York City’s Human Rights Law, this conduct is not permitted. At Phillips & Associates, our employment discrimination lawyers can assist New York City residents who have been subject to mistreatment on the basis of their job status.

The Human Rights Law Protects Unemployed Job Seekers

In 2011, President Obama proposed a job stimulus package that included federal legislation designed to protect unemployed applicants from experiencing discrimination during the hiring process. Even when this legislative effort failed in Congress, a number of states proposed similar pieces of legislation to ensure that employers give unemployed applicants a fair chance. New York City set a precedent in this arena when it passed its Human Rights Law, which took effect on June 11, 2013. This effort represented the first time that an authority in the United States recognized an applicant’s unemployment status as a protected class, including it alongside other protected classes like race, color, national origin, disability, sex, marital status, and age. The bill provides an unemployed job seeker with the right to pursue civil penalties against an employer that mistreats unemployed applicants.

However, it is important to keep in mind that employers are able to consider an applicant’s unemployment where there is a substantially job-related reason for doing so and are also permitted to inquire into the circumstances surrounding an applicant’s separation from prior employment. In addition, the law does not prohibit an employer from determining that only applicants who are currently employed by the employer will be considered for employment or given priority for employment.

Consult an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in New York City

We understand how difficult being unemployed is for you and your family. Being turned away from a job due to your lack of current employment only makes this situation harder, especially considering the current challenges facing many sectors of the American economy. At Phillips & Associates, our experienced New York City attorneys can guide you through pursuing a discrimination or wrongful termination claim with the dedication and attention that you deserve. We advocate tenaciously for the rights of workers throughout the five boroughs of the city, including Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. Call us at (833) 529-3476 or contact us online to set up a free and confidential consultation. We can investigate the details of your situation, help you explore your options, and determine an appropriate course of action.

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
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