Long Island Discrimination
The majority of New York City residents currently live on Long Island. As of 2015, it had a population of about 7.8 million people. It has a growing population of Chinese Americans, Korean Americans, Latin Americans, and other people with origins from around the world. Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer makes an employment decision — such as whether to hire a job applicant or fire an employee — on the basis of an employee's protected characteristic. Protected characteristics vary under federal, state, and local laws. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you should retain an experienced employment litigator. At Phillips & Associates, our Long Island discrimination lawyers may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for damages against your employer. We offer a free consultation to victims of discrimination and there are no upfront fees. Call our employment attorneys to discuss your situation at (516) 365-3731.Know Your Rights Against Discrimination
The federal statutes that prohibit workplace discrimination include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Different characteristics are protected under different laws. Title VII, for example, prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, and religion. Pregnancy discrimination is also illegal. Your employer cannot make employment decisions, including hiring, firing, promotions, demotions, raises, or bonuses, based on these characteristics.
It would be discrimination under Title VII, for example, if your employer decided not to promote you to a customer-facing position at a restaurant because you are brown-skinned, wear a hijab, and are Middle Eastern, when the employer wants to project an "All-American image." This would be discrimination potentially on the basis of race, color, national origin, and religion. However, you may suffer from discrimination in this situation even on the basis of being perceived as being of a particular religion, race, or national origin. For example, if you observed Ramadan, and for that reason your employer assumed that you were Iraqi or Syrian, even though you were white and born in the United States, this would also be employment discrimination. A discrimination attorney could assist a Long Island employee with bringing a claim in this situation.
Discrimination often involves disparate treatment of workers, but it can also arise from a disparate impact. A disparate impact involves a formally neutral policy that adversely affects one group of people who share a protected characteristic more than other groups. You will need to show that the neutral practice or policy has a disproportionate negative effect on people who have a protected characteristic. Both objective and subjective criteria of recruitment (both tests and performance) can be challenged through a disparate impact lawsuit.
The New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits discrimination, and for many people, it is better to pursue damages under this law. For one thing, it prohibits discrimination by smaller employers. Title VII only applies to employers with at least 15 employees, whereas state law usually applies to employers that have at least four employees. An exception is for sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, which is prohibited no matter the size of the employer. If you are experiencing sexual advances, sexual comments or other sexual innuendos you should discuss this situation with an employment attorney to understand your rights.
For laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), such as Title VII, a Long Island discrimination attorney can help you file a charge with the EEOC within the narrow required window after the discriminatory incident or incidents. By contrast, you can pursue damages under state and local laws without first pursuing administrative action. Furthermore, there are caps on compensatory damages and punitive damages if you sue under federal law. The federal statutory scheme has gradually increasing caps, based on the size of the employer. For example, if your employer has 15-100 employees, the cap is $50,000. If your employer has 101-200 employees, for another example, the cap is $100,000.
Damages that you may be able to recover in a discrimination lawsuit include back pay, front pay, out-of-pocket expenses, and emotional distress. In cases involving egregious conduct by your employer, you may be able to recover punitive damages as well. The New York State Human Rights Law doesn’t not have caps on emotional damages.Seek Guidance from an Experienced Discrimination Lawyer on Long Island
At Phillips & Associates, we can help you fight back after being mistreated in your workplace, and we are familiar with the nuances of these claims. We are a contingency law firm, which means there are no attorney fees unless we recover. Contact us at (516) 365-3731 or through our online form to find out more about how you can assert your rights.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
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Manhasset, NY 11030