Jesse S. Weinstein
Jesse Weinstein is a Litigation Associate at the law firm of Phillips & Associates. Mr. Weinstein worked as an Assistant District Attorney at the Bronx County District Attorney's Office prior to joining our firm. As a prosecutor, he gained substantial trial experience as first-chair counsel in several jury and bench trials. He also led complex investigations and conducted dozens of hearings and grand jury presentations.
Mr. Weinstein also served in the United States Navy for four years as an Operations Specialist in San Diego. After his military service, he completed his undergraduate studies at Pace University and obtained his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Weinstein is dedicated to securing justice for workers who are dealing with misconduct such as workplace discrimination.
Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee negatively because of his or her membership in a protected class. Negative employment decisions that may constitute employment discrimination include termination, failure to hire, failure to promote, demotion, paying an employee less, or offering less favorable terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. For example, if you are not hired to a job because you are a black man, this would be race discrimination under Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law. For another example, if you are not promoted to a customer-facing management position because you are of Middle Eastern origin and wear a hijab, this would likely be national origin and religious discrimination under Title VII, the NYSHRL, and the NYCHRL. However, each of the laws has its own nuances.
Generally, federal law applies only to midsize or large companies. To be covered by Title VII, your employer needs to have at least 15 employees.
Harassment based on a protected characteristic is one form of employment discrimination. It can be perpetrated by coworkers, supervisors, managers, clients, or customers. For example, if your manager offers you a promotion in exchange for sex, this would be quid pro quo sexual harassment. For another example, if your coworkers jeer at your hijab and call you a terrorist repeatedly, and when you complain to HR, the HR manager tells you that you need to take things less seriously, this would likely be actionable religious harassment.
You may be worried about reporting your employer's discriminatory conduct or your coworkers' harassment. However, retaliation is prohibited under most anti-discrimination laws, including the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). If you complain in good faith under these laws, you are engaging in a protected activity. Sometimes it turns out that the court disagrees that an employer's conduct constituted harassment or discrimination. The underlying complaint need not be decided in your favor for you to win a retaliation claim. Instead, if you are bringing your retaliation claim under the New York City Human Rights Law, you will need to establish that you were engaged in a protected activity, the defendant knew that you were engaged in a protected activity, the defendant took an employment action against you that negatively affected you, and there was a causal relationship between your protected activity and the adverse employment action. For example, if you complained about disability harassment to your supervisor, and you were terminated for causing trouble, you may be able to recover damages for retaliation.
It is stressful to deal with workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, especially when you are going up against an employer that has more power than you do. Mr. Weinstein and our other skillful trial lawyers may be able to help you recover damages. Call Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form. We litigate employment cases in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, as well as Westchester County, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.