Samantha Aimee Cedeño Cassinelli
Samantha Aimee Cedeño Cassinelli is a paralegal at Phillips & Associates. She works hard to keep the firm’s clients’ cases running smoothly.
In 2016, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park. While in college, she studied abroad in Rome. She also completed coursework in Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.
After graduation, she worked as a paralegal for a New York City firm, managing more than 100 active and settled employment law cases. She performed initial intake to determine whether employment rights had been violated. She also executed background and asset searches on defendants and served as a main point of contact and an interpreter for clients. In her role as a paralegal, she prepared complaints for federal courts, as well as discovery demands and subpoenas. She has organized evidence and exhibits for trial, and she has worked with witnesses, scheduling them and making sure that they are prepared. She has also worked as a legal assistant at firms and for the District Attorney’s Office in Guayaquil, Ecuador. There, she assisted attorneys in court and at conferences. She is a native Spanish speaker and is an intermediate Italian speaker.
Ms. Cassinelli takes pride in helping workers fight discrimination on the job. Employment discrimination is actionable if your employer makes an adverse employment decision based on your membership in a protected class. Federal, state, and local laws govern employers in New York City, and each law specifies different protected classes. Federal laws that prohibit discrimination include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, and national origin. Many of the anti-discrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law protect more employees than do federal laws because they apply to smaller businesses. The New York City Human Rights Law is widely considered to be one of the most progressive laws in the U.S. in terms of its protection of employees. It covers many characteristics that are not covered by federal laws.
Sexual harassment is a common form of discrimination. Harassing conduct must be unwelcome to form the basis of a lawsuit. The harassment may consist of sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, innuendoes, jokes, memes, pornography, touching, groping, and more. Either gender can perpetrate sexual harassment, and either gender can be subjected to harassment. It can be quid pro quo harassment, in which an authority within the workplace conditions employment on providing sexual favors or submitting to the harassment. Generally, this type of harassment can be perpetrated only by someone with power in the workplace, such as a supervisor or a manager. A coworker usually does not have this type of power over you. However, a coworker’s behavior may create a hostile work environment.
Hostile work environment harassment is actionable under federal law if the sexually harassing conduct is so severe or so pervasive that it alters the workplace. The city law extends much more broadly in defining a hostile work environment. The harassment does not need to be severe or pervasive. Instead, the behavior must go beyond something that would be considered a petty slight or a trivial inconvenience.
Ms. Cassinelli is an experienced 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.