Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently based on a protected characteristic. In New York City, protected characteristics include age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, medical conditions, gender identity, pregnancy, and sexual orientation. Following are Frequently Asked Questions about discrimination in the workplace. Our New York City discrimination lawyers can advise you on your specific situation.What is age Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer makes an adverse employment decision based on a job applicant or employee's age. It is prohibited against people who are 40 or older and working for a company with at least 20 employees under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). However, the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws also prohibit age discrimination at smaller companies for people who are 40 or older.What is Color Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Color discrimination occurs when an employer makes an adverse employment decision based on a job applicant or employee's color. It is closely related to race discrimination. For example, if your employer does not want to put you in a customer-facing position because you are black and have light brown skin, and it says that it wants someone who is more "all-American" to interact with customers, this is color discrimination. It is likely actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, or the New York City Human Rights Law.What is Gender Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Gender discrimination occurs if your employer or prospective employer uses your gender to make an employment decision. You can be a victim of discrimination whether you are a woman or a man, and regardless of which gender your boss is. Discrimination can involve hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, classifying, segregating, harassing, or reassigning a job applicant or employee based on their gender. It is illegal under Title VII, as well as the New York State and City Human Rights Laws. Under federal law, it is illegal for employers to pay women less than what men are paid for the same work.What is Gender Identity Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Gender identity includes actual or perceived gender identity and gender expression, as well as being transgender. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of gender identity in the State of New York or in New York City. Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that gender identity discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII, the protection is not express, so it is not as clear under federal law as it is under the New York City Human Rights Law. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, an employer that intentionally refuses to use your preferred name, pronoun, or title is perpetrating gender identity discrimination. It may be possible to sue for damages with the assistance of an experienced attorney.What is LGBT Discrimination in an Employment Context?
LGBT discrimination occurs when somebody is subjected to discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) protects employees at the state level from discrimination based on their actual sexual orientation or the sexual orientation that they are perceived as having. The New York City Human Rights Law also prohibits LGBT discrimination. LGBT discrimination would occur, for example, if you were not hired because you are gay, or because you are perceived by a prospective employer as being gay, due to the employer's stereotypes about how gay people act.Which Laws Prohibit Medical Condition Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Medical condition discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently in the workplace, due to a real or perceived medical condition. There is no list of medical conditions that are covered by anti-discrimination laws. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a medical condition can be a covered disability when it substantially restricts a major life activity. You are also protected if you have a record of such an impairment, or you are perceived as having an impairment. The New York State Human Rights Law covers smaller employers and has a broader definition of disability.What is National Origin Discrimination in an Employment Context?
National origin discrimination occurs in an employment context when an employer takes an employment action based on your country of origin or perceived country of origin. For example, if your employer refuses to promote you because he believes that you are Middle Eastern, this is national origin discrimination. It would also be a form of national origin discrimination if your coworkers harassed you because you are perceived as African.What is Pregnancy Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Pregnancy discrimination is forbidden under federal, state, and local laws. It is considered a form of gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under state and local laws, you may be entitled to reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions.What is Religious Discrimination in an Employment Context?
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as state and local laws, employers cannot treat you differently due to your sincerely held religious belief or practice. They cannot make employment decisions, such as those involving hiring, recruiting, assignments, promotion, or discipline, due to your religious beliefs. They cannot subject you to hostile workplace harassment because of these beliefs. Furthermore, they are required to provide a reasonable accommodation for a sincerely held religious belief, except when to do so would pose an undue hardship. Even non-traditional religious beliefs are protected as long as they are sincerely held.Consult a Skillful New York City Attorney for Your Discrimination Claim
At Phillips & Associates, we may be able to help you recover damages if you were subject to workplace discrimination in New York City. Our attorneys fight employment discrimination and harassment in Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Westchester County, and New Jersey. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form.
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