Employment law PRACTICE AREAS

Phillips & Associates is committed to leveling the playing field for workers across the state of New York. If you believe you have a case, do not hesitate to contact our respected team of experienced labor and employment lawyers.

New York Employment Lawyers

Our Experienced Attorneys Handle a Wide Variety of Cases

Many employers fail to comply with their legal obligations to employees. Employer misconduct may involve discriminating against or harassing certain workers who belong to protected classes or failing to pay employees according to minimum wage and overtime laws. In some cases, employers may unlawfully retaliate against employees who have complained about their mistreatment. At Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our experienced lawyers are familiar with federal, state, and local laws. We can help you file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a lawsuit for damages when appropriate. Whether you need a sexual harassment attorney, guidance with a wrongful termination claim, or another form of assistance, Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law is ready to provide comprehensive representation to employees and job applicants whose rights have been violated.

  • Sexual Harassment

    Federal law prohibits sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are two categories of sexual harassment: Hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment. A hostile work environment exists if an employee suffers harm because they are frequently the recipient of unwelcome advances, offensive comments, or other harassment. Quid pro quo harassment exists when a supervisor or another powerful authority figure in the workplace asks for sexual favors in exchange for taking a certain employment action, such as promoting an employee, or promising not to take a particular action, such as firing the employee.

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  • Pregnancy Discrimination

    Unfortunately, stereotypes surrounding pregnancy still sometimes play a role in how an employee expecting a child is treated in the workplace. A woman may find herself subjected to demeaning comments or overlooked for promotions or bonuses, simply on the basis of her pregnancy. These situations are unlawful and may form the basis of a claim. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a federal law, employees throughout the U.S. are shielded from adverse treatment based on pregnancy, and they are entitled to be accommodated in the workplace similar to other temporarily disabled employees. Although the PDA covers only employers with 15 or more employees, state laws in New York extend to smaller businesses.

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  • Sex or Gender Discrimination

    Closely related to sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, gender discrimination arises when an employee is treated differently from their co-workers based on their sex. For example, an employee may not base promotions or pay raises on gender stereotypes or provide benefits only to female rather than male spouses of employees. The Equal Pay Act requires employers throughout the U.S. to provide equal pay to employees who are working in substantially equal jobs, regardless of their gender. This is broadly defined to include bonuses, stock options, and benefits, in addition to actual salary. As with other forms of discrimination, federal protections against gender discrimination extend not only to current employees but also to job applicants.

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  • Race Discrimination

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as state and local laws, prohibit racial discrimination in New York City workplaces. Title VII covers all private employers, educational institutions, and state and local government organizations that employ 15 or more workers. Under Title VII, it is illegal for a covered employer to discriminate against an employee or a job applicant based on race when taking employment actions. For example, it is illegal for your employer to fail to promote you or to terminate you based on race. Similarly, an employer interviewing a job applicant cannot fail to hire that applicant merely because they are of a particular race. State and local laws also prohibit this form of discrimination.

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  • Disability Discrimination

    Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer may not discriminate against a qualified employee based on a history of disability or the employer's belief that a qualified employee has a mental or physical impairment that is not short-lived and minor. Even employees and job applicants who are not actually disabled are protected against discrimination if the employer takes an adverse employment action because it believes there is a disability. Moreover, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees who request an accommodation due to the disability, unless providing that accommodation would be overly expensive or difficult.

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  • Age Discrimination

    Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), employers in the U.S. may not discriminate against workers who are over 40 years old on the basis of their age. Businesses with 20 or more employees are covered by this federal law, while New York State and City laws provide additional protections. Also, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) governs actions by employers that are related to employee benefits. Under the OWBPA, employers may not reduce benefits based on age unless the cost of providing the reduced benefits to older employees is no greater than the cost of providing benefits to younger employees.

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  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination

    While federal law does not explicitly prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in most situations, the state of New York does protect employees in the private sector from this type of conduct. Even if your employer acts based on a mistaken belief about your sexual orientation, you may be entitled to assert your legal rights. Any type of unequal treatment of employees based on actual or perceived sexual orientation is prohibited in New York. This can consist of overt harassment or actions such as being denied professional advancement, and it also may arise from more subtle comments such as whether a person is not masculine or not feminine enough for a certain role or job.

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  • National Origin Discrimination

    Laws at the federal, state, and city levels prevent employers from treating workers differently based on their country of origin, as well as certain related traits, such as ethnicity, ancestry, or foreign accent. As with other forms of discrimination, a claim may arise whether or not the employer’s perception of the employee’s national origin is accurate. For example, a company may not refuse interviews to people who have foreign accents or place additional requirements on non-white individuals during the job application process. In some situations, a company may require that only English be spoken in the workplace, but only if it promotes the necessary operations of the business.

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  • Religious Discrimination

    Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious practices of their employees, in addition to refraining from harassing them based on their religion. Religious beliefs are broadly defined under the law, extending from a membership in a particular religion to sincere ethical or personal beliefs. Unless a religious observance would create an undue hardship for an employer or interfere with a bona fide qualification of the job, an employer must accommodate an employee’s sincere desire to engage in that observance, such as by rearranging a work schedule. An employee also may have a legal claim if their employer fails to address hostile actions by customers or clients toward the employee based on their religion.

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  • Criminal Conviction Discrimination

    This form of discrimination tends to arise most often in the application or hiring process. Although adverse decisions based on prior criminal convictions are not specifically prohibited by federal law, New York State has enacted laws in this area to protect its public policy interest in providing employment for citizens with criminal records. Discrimination based on a prospective employee’s criminal history is not permitted unless the job is in law enforcement, there is a direct relationship between the applicant’s conviction and the type of job, or hiring the applicant would pose an unreasonable risk to people or property. Employers that do consider prior convictions must take into account how much time has passed since the conviction, how old the applicant was when the crime was committed, and the severity of the offense.

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Client Services

When you are a victim of harassment in the workplace, your job performance and your emotional well-being may suffer. At Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we understand how difficult it is for our clients to come forward and talk about unlawful conduct in their workplace. They may be concerned about being ostracized by their coworkers or retaliated against by their supervisors. Our attorneys believe that every employee in New York is entitled to work free of discriminatory actions. If you have experienced sexual harassment at your job, we will devote our energies to helping you pursue the compensation you need. Retaliation is illegal, but some employers ignore the law. Our compassionate involvement and advice can help address any concerns you may have about adverse consequences for your actions.

Strike Back Against Harassment with the Assistance of an Attorney

The lawyers at Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law have represented numerous victims of employment discrimination claims, such as those involving sexual harassment. We have successfully represented employees working at large and small companies who have been victimized by their employers, supervisors, or coworkers. We have also helped them bring retaliation claims when appropriate. We can offer you knowledgeable guidance throughout pre-trial negotiations. If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, we can represent you aggressively at trial. Our clients value our candor and attention to detail. We communicate clearly, promptly, and compassionately with each individual whom we represent.

Call (866) 229-9441 or schedule a free consultation through our online form.

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    "He explained at length the legal process and listened closely to all my concerns, He is hardworking and get good results."

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    "My case was very complicated, and he handled the whole process calmly and professionally (even when I was upset or stressed out)."

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Why Choose Phillips & Associates?

  • Financial Backing - No Fees Paid Unless We Win
  • One of the Largest Plaintiff Law Firms Representing Employees
  • We Win - Over $150 Million in Client Settlements & Verdicts
  • The go-to Law Firm for High Profile Discrimination and Harassment Cases
  • A Legal Team Driven to Leveling the Playing Field Against Your Employer
  • Recognized As The Best of the Best in Employment Law

Get To Know Our Experienced Legal Team

Comprised of experienced attorneys at the top of their game, our legal team is dedicated to leveling the playing field on behalf of employees throughout the state of New York.

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Employees Have Rights Under Federal & State Laws

Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law has helped numerous individuals exercise federal, state, and local protections against misconduct in the workplace. Title VII is the primary federal law that shields employees against discrimination based on the protected categories of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. Only employers that have 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII.

Other important federal employment discrimination laws include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Each law has its own requirements with regard to enforcement and filing a lawsuit. Our attorneys are familiar with these laws and the protections they give employees to be free from discrimination and derogatory comments or conduct. We care deeply about making sure that they can perform their job duties without unlawful hindrances.

Federal law prohibits not only discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race or national origin, but also harassing remarks or actions on the basis of those characteristics. A single incident, however, must be very severe to qualify as harassment. More often, a pattern of conduct by a supervisor or coworker gives rise to a hostile and intimidating work environment and a viable claim. At our firm, we will take the time to understand the details of our clients’ situations and craft the strongest possible argument for them.


The court uses both objective and subjective standards when determining whether the conduct at issue was sufficiently pervasive and severe to warrant damages. When considering the situation using an objective standard, the jury will look at it from the point of view of whether a reasonable person would feel harassed. When considering the situation from a subjective standard, the jury will look at the victim's perception of the events. An experienced attorney at Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law can explain how the details of your particular case are likely to be interpreted by a jury, as well as factual or legal aspects of your case that may be more uncertain.

Both state and local laws offer even broader protections to employees who have suffered from discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic. New York state law safeguards people who work for companies with four or more employees.

The New York City Human Rights Law is considered one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the country. It is interpreted liberally and protects individuals with regard to the characteristics protected under federal law, as well as additional categories such as marital status, sexual orientation military status, domestic violence victim status, arrest and conviction records, and predisposing genetic characteristics. Our lawyers understand how its many nuanced provisions protect the rights of our clients. After learning about your needs and goals, we will explain your options under this law and others, while carefully answering any questions you may have about the process.

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