Jessica Edokpayi provides outstanding administrative support for the smooth operation of Phillips & Associates. She is dedicated to workers’ rights.
Ms. Edokpayi worked as a sales associate at Express in Times Square, and she became accustomed to welcoming customers to the store and answering queries. Next, she worked as a legal intern at Nonprofit Organization from 2015-16. In that role, she counseled patients suffering from substance abuse and filed court documents. She graduated from Mercy College with a Bachelor of Legal Studies in 2018, and worked as an administrative legal assistant at another Brooklyn law firm for a year. She gained her skills as an Intake Specialist at Levine & Blit before joining Phillips & Associates for the same role. In her spare time, she reads, shops, socializes, dances, appreciates art, and designs fashion.
Phillips & Associates focuses on plaintiffs’ employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employment discrimination. You can sue for employment discrimination if an adverse employment action was taken against you because of your membership in a protected class. There are numerous protected classes under various laws. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for example, prohibits discrimination based on an actual or perceived disability. Only employers in New York City with a minimum of 15 employees are covered by this law.
Disability discrimination is also prohibited under the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. An employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants or employees with disabilities to allow them to satisfy the essential job requirements or enjoy the rights at issue, as long as the disability is known or should be known by the employer.
Retaliation occurs if an employer punishes you because you engaged in a legally protected activity, such as bringing a charge of discrimination or suing for harassment. The retaliatory action may involve any adverse employment decision, such as shifting you to a less prestigious assignment, reducing your salary, firing you, demoting you, or disciplining you.
Often, it is not entirely clear whether an adverse action was connected to a protected activity. If you were terminated on the day after the EEOC contacted your employer to investigate a charge of sexual harassment that you filed, that causal connection is probably clear. When an adverse action is taken against you shortly after you complain to HR or otherwise make a complaint, the closeness in time between the protected activity and the adverse action may be sufficient to establish a claim of retaliation. However, in other situations, your employer’s conduct may be ambiguous.
Context matters. A shift in assignments to a night shift may not be a big deal to some employees, but it could seriously hinder you if you have children in grade school and do not make enough to pay for childcare in the evenings. Similarly, if you were praised repeatedly for your performance over the past year, but soon after filing a complaint, you receive an unfair and extremely negative performance review, this may be retaliation. In deciding whether retaliation occurred, the question is whether the employer’s negative conduct toward you was of the sort that would stop a reasonable person in your situation from complaining.
You are protected against retaliation under federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. You are also protected if you cooperate with an EEOC investigation or if you testify as a witness in an employment discrimination lawsuit.
Jessica Edokpayi is dedicated to providing strong support to Phillips & Associates and the workers whom the firm represents. She is sympathetic to workers who have faced trouble on the job. If you believe that you were a victim of employment discrimination, harassment, or other misconduct, you should consult the seasoned employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Our firm can be reached at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form. We represent employees in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.