Jessica Reid is a litigation paralegal with Phillips & Associates, a New York City and New Jersey employment discrimination firm. She understands that workplace discrimination and harassment can cause serious harm to a career; they can also be painful and emotionally distressing for workers who hope to be judged by their contributions to the workplace rather than their identities.
Jessica Reid graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, magna cum laude, in 2015 and graduated with her J.D. from Florida International University, College of Law in 2018. During her time at the University, Jessica Reid excelled academically, making the Dean’s List in 2011-2015, and being accepted into the Phi Kappa Phi chapter, a prestigious organization for high academic achievers. In college, she studied abroad at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK and served as the Secretary of the Black Law Student Association.
Prior to joining Phillips & Associates and before deciding to serve in a supportive litigation role, Ms. Reid worked as an associate attorney for a South Orange, New Jersey litigation firm and as an associate attorney for another New York City employment law firm conducting client intakes, legal research, drafting and responding to discovery demands, defending depositions, and drafting motions, among other documents.
Ms. Reid’s work is concentrated in providing behind-the-scenes, meticulous support from the start of litigation until the resolution of each suit. Local, state, and federal laws prohibit workplace discrimination and harassment based on a range of protected characteristics. The New York State Human Rights Law is the state law that prohibits employment discrimination on the job. It has been amended to provide a broad range of protection. It applies to workplaces that have at least one employee.
Over the years, the New York City Human Rights Law has been considered one of the most liberal workplace discrimination laws in the country. The city law protects many different characteristics, not only of employees, but also independent contractors and freelancers. It applies to employers that have at least four employees.
There are several federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination. These include laws that guard against discrimination based on race, color, religion , sex, national origin, disability, and age over 40. There is some overlap between what federal laws and what state and city laws protect, but the federal laws only apply to midsize and large employers. The federal laws have a heightened standard for hostile work environment harassment, as well. Damages are capped under federal law, based on the size of the employer.Reasonable Accommodations
Under federal, state, or local laws, employers are supposed to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities, except when providing the accommodation would present an undue hardship. However, each of these laws define disability a little bit differently. Additionally, what is considered an undue hardship can vary. Federal and state courts have developed case law that interprets these terms differently based on context and facts of particular cases. Ms. Reid and other attorneys will examine your situation to determine whether relief is available and fight for your rights under the law that provides the most protections.
For instance, the New York City Human Rights Law provides that employees, independent contractors, and freelancers are entitled to receive reasonable accommodations for their needs related to pregnancy, disabilities, religious observances, domestic violence status, stalking, or sexual offenses. Under city law, “reasonable accommodation” and “undue hardship” are inextricably bound to each other. Accommodations are presumed reasonable, except when employers demonstrate that they present an undue hardship. The court will evaluate undue hardship under a preponderance of the evidence standard. In other words, the employer will need to show it’s more likely than not providing the accommodation would present an undue hardship.
Under the New York State Human Rights Law, a reasonable accommodation is an action taken by an employer that allows an employee or prospective employee with a disability to perform in a reasonable way the activities involved in the occupation or job that’s sought or held. Reasonable accommodations may include reassignment to an available position, making existing facilities more readily accessed by disabled people, and work schedule adjustments.
Ms. Reid is a knowledgeable paralegal and a valued member of the team of plaintiffs’ employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates. If you were harmed by employment discrimination or harassment, or any other form of misconduct in the workplace, you should contact Phillips & Associates. We represent employees in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. Our firm can be reached at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form.