Shaina Wood is a tenacious employment New York City discrimination attorney with Phillips & Associates. Ms. Wood understands that it is difficult to suffer a career setback, or even lose your job, based on an aspect of your identity or life history over which you have no control. She is committed to fighting for employees who have faced workplace discrimination.
Ms. Wood graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2013, where she majored in political science. At Hofstra, she was an Honors College Graduate and a Presidential Scholar. Ms. Wood graduated with a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in New York in May 2017. While in law school, she received the Donald J. Feerick Prize in Labor Law, the Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award cum laude, and a Fordham Academic Merit Scholarship. During her time at Fordham, she studied abroad in Belfast where she did an externship with the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. She was competitively selected and trained to mediate many different cases in the Bronx and Manhattan Small Claims Court.
Prior to joining Phillips & Associates, she worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the Labor and Employment Law Division of the New York City Law Department for three years. As Assistant Corporation Counsel, she performed a range of employment litigation tasks in order to defend City entities against lawsuits brought under employment discrimination statutes including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.
Ms. Wood has been admitted to practice law in New York courts, the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of New York.Shaina Wood Pursues Damages for Workers Facing Workplace Discrimination
At Phillips & Associates, Ms. Wood uses her insights and past experience as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for New York City to help workers pursue damages from employers who have discriminated against them. Our lawyers can pursue damages for workplace discrimination and harassment lawsuits under federal, state, and local laws. In most cases, state and local laws provide greater protection for workers than do federal laws.State and Local Laws
The state antidiscrimination law that protects workers is the New York State Human Rights Law. Our lawyers may be able to represent you for a claim under the state law, even if you are the sole employee at your company. The law provides that it is a civil right to obtain employment without discrimination due to national origin, sexual orientation, age, race, creed, color, gender identity or expression, sex, military status, disability or marital status is a civil right.
In some cases, it is not clear which of a worker’s protected characteristics is implicated in discriminatory conduct. For example if you work for a sole proprietor who docks your pay and fires you because you are a queer Asian American woman who refuses his sexual advances, you may have claims of sexual harassment, along with discrimination and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation, national origin, and race. When faced with this situation, Ms. Wood or one of our other attorneys would pursue damages under all appropriate grounds, investigate and conduct discovery, and examine the facts to figure out which claims have the greatest evidentiary support.
The New York City Human Rights Law is the local anti-discrimination law. It covers employers so long as they have a minimum of four employees. Additionally, it has been changed to provide protection not only to employees, but also freelancers and independent contractors, as of January 11, 2020. Characteristics that are protected include:
- Immigration or Citizenship Status
- Gender Identity
- National Origin
- Marital Status and Partnership Status
- Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodations
- Religion or Creed
- Sexual Orientation
- Veteran Status or Active Military Service Member
Federal antidiscrimination laws tend to protect midsize or larger employers. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination with regard to race, national origin, religion, sex, color. It applies to employers that have at least 15 employees. For another example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disability. Many of the antidiscrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That means you must file a charge with the EEOC before you pursue damages in court.Retain Employment Discrimination Lawyers to Fight for Your Rights
If your employer made an important employment decision that harmed you based on a protected characteristic such as sex or religion or disability, you should call Shaina Wood and the seasoned New York City employment discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We represent workers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Nassau County or Suffolk County. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or complete our online form.