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New York State Laws Against Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Attorneys Advising New York City Employees on Their Rights

Despite the substantial progress being made toward establishing equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, many employers still engage in unlawful discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation. For many victims, the pain and embarrassment of being targeted in such a hateful way prevents them from coming forward and seeking legal recourse against their employers. At Phillips & Associates, our sexual orientation discrimination lawyers have helped many New York City employees take legal action against their employers after being subjected to unlawful conduct in the workplace.

New York State Protections Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In this state, it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on his or her sexual orientation. Despite this fact, over 40% of gay and lesbian adults report facing some type of harassment or hostility at the workplace based on their sexual orientation. Many employers’ biases and prejudices are based on erroneous beliefs and assumptions about individuals who do not identify as straight. Regardless of how an employer may view an employee’s sexual orientation, New York law prohibits an employer from treating the employee differently at any point along the employment chain. This includes the hiring process, promotional decisions, job duty assignments, and the termination of an employee.

There are some instances in which sexual orientation discrimination is obvious and easy to identify. If an employer says, for example, that he or she chose not to promote an employee or assign someone to a particular job duty based on that person’s sexual orientation, the employer likely has engaged in sexual orientation discrimination. This also holds true for written statements, like emails, that include overt indications of an employer’s discriminatory actions towards employees based on their sexual orientation. Any taunts, lewd comments, jokes, or offensive remarks regarding an employee’s sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived falsely, constitute sexual orientation discrimination. In these situations, it may be straightforward to prove the employer’s discriminatory intent because you can provide direct evidence establishing that you were treated differently based on your sexual orientation.

There is also a plethora of less obvious instances in which sexual orientation discrimination runs rampant. An employer with prejudicial beliefs about different sexual orientations may overlook an employee for a promotion or assignment out of a desire to keep that employee from interacting with various clients, customers, or the public. Some employers may request that an employee refrain from bringing his or her significant other to a work-related event, knowing that the employee identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In these situations, the employee must gather circumstantial evidence indicating that the employer treated the employee differently based on his or her sexual orientation. A common example includes providing evidence indicating that the employer took the discriminatory action within close proximity to learning about the employee’s sexual orientation.

Seek Legal Guidance for a Gender Discrimination Claim in New York City

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual orientation discrimination, you may have legal remedies available to you against your employer. At Phillips & Associates, our gender discrimination attorneys work hard on behalf of individuals in New York City to protect their privacy, fight for their workplace rights, and help them seek the compensation that they deserve after facing harassment. We proudly serve discrimination victims throughout the five boroughs, including in Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Call us now at (833) 529-3476 or contact us online to set up a free, confidential consultation today.

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
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