Erica Ruth Sanders is an associate in the White Plains office of Phillips & Associates. She has experience as a Westchester County employment lawyer representing employees in connection with issues involving workplace discrimination, wage theft, and executive compensation.
Ms. Sanders has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Arts in social psychology. She holds a law degree from McGill University in Montreal. She is an active member of the New York Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association and chairs the organization's mentorship committee. She joined Phillips & Associates in early 2019. She is admitted to practice law in New York State, the Eastern District of New York, and the Southern District of New York.
Federal and state laws forbid workplace discrimination on the basis of protected categories. Sometimes workplace discrimination results in a hostile work environment or even a wrongful termination. Ms. Sanders fights for the rights of employees who are dealing with these circumstances.
Workplace discrimination occurs if an employee is unfairly treated in connection with hiring, firing, compensation, promotions, layoffs, or retirement benefits due to a protected characteristic. Harassment can be a form of workplace discrimination. Our firm handles discrimination and harassment claims related to protected characteristics such as disability, race, sex, age, criminal convictions, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. These characteristics are protected by various federal, state, and local laws. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, and color. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability and also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination based on a range of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Your employer should not discriminate against you due to your actual or perceived sexual orientation, whether that is homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or heterosexual. Similarly, you should not be subjected to discrimination or harassed because you are transgender. Federal law does not provide express protections to gender nonconforming, transgender, homosexual, or bisexual workers based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Title VII, has interpreted this law as extending protection to people affected by gender identity discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination, since these are considered subsets of sex discrimination.
If your employer has not paid you according to the state's minimum wage laws, you may be able to sue to recover the unpaid wages. Investigators at the New York Department of Labor can investigate the amount of wages withheld, any amount that was unpaid, and whether illegal deductions were taken. The New York Department of Labor can also enforce laws that prohibit restaurants and other employers from misappropriating tips.
Disputes also may arise in the area of executive compensation. Often, executives are paid not only a basic salary but also benefits, stock options or shares, deferred compensation, reimbursement for travel or housing, savings plans, and bonuses. There may be issues that arise in the context of executive compensation that do not arise for ordinary workers. Executive compensation packages may not only set forth remuneration of different types but also provide the terms and conditions under which employment is conducted. It is important to hire an attorney if executive compensation is being negotiated or if you believe that your employer has violated the employment agreement. Sometimes there are workplace discrimination issues that arise in connection with executive compensation. For example, you should not be paid less because of your race or sex.
If you are concerned about a legal issue in your workplace, you should consult Erica Sanders and the other attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Our highly experienced trial lawyers pursue the recovery of damages from employers of all sizes. Call Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form.