Ingrid M. Fernandez is a knowledgeable paralegal at the Long Island office of Phillips & Associates. She is dedicated to providing excellent assistance to our Long Island employment attorneys.
Ms. Fernandez is a J.D. candidate at the Touro Law Center in Long Island, New York, where she has participated in Moot Court. While in law school, she was the Fall 2019 CALI Award Recipient and was named Best Oral Advocate. She also received the Spring 2020 Faculty Recognition Award in Constitutional Law I. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science and Paralegal Certificate from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Ms. Fernandez is also a Notary Public and is fluent in Spanish.
Ms. Fernandez began her career as a litigation paralegal. Among other things, she prepared discovery demands and responses and simple discovery motions. She also prepared files for expert witness retention. She moved on to working as a paralegal and legal billing coordinator at a New York City firm. Before coming to Phillips & Associates, she worked as a paralegal at another New York City firm, where she collaborated with clients to gather facts and evidence to assist in responding to discovery and drafting pleadings. In her role as a paralegal, she also reviewed and outlined depositions, organized exhibits, prepared pleadings and motions, and prepared for oral arguments. She also prepared for trials and coordinated trial logistics.
Employment discrimination is prohibited under federal, state, and local laws on Long Island. There are several federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). These laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); before you file suit in civil court, you need to first file a charge with the EEOC. The federal anti-discrimination laws apply only to mid-size and large employers, and damages are capped, so generally you are better off pursuing damages under the New York State Human Rights Law.
The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits workplace discrimination based on a worker’s membership in a protected class. Protected classes include race, national origin, age, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, domestic violence victim status, military status, disability, and predisposing genetic characteristics. Discrimination can include any adverse employment action taken because of a worker’s membership in a protected class. For example, if you were terminated because you are lesbian, you may have a claim under the New York State Human Rights Law.
Discriminatory harassment is also prohibited under the state law. Due to a recent amendment, to recover damages for harassment, you will need to show that you were subject to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment due to your membership in one or more protected classes.
Under the New York State Human Rights Law, you may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation for a disability or pregnancy-related condition. A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment to the normal workplace rules that would allow a disabled worker or a worker with a pregnancy-related condition to do their job. A reasonable accommodation could include job restructuring, a modified work schedule, the acquisition of equipment, or access to support services. An employer does not need to provide a reasonable accommodation if doing so would present an undue hardship. If an employer is not excused because of an undue hardship, it may be possible to recover damages for that employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.
Parts of Long Island — Kings County and Queens County — are technically located in New York City. Workplaces in those areas are subject to the New York City Human Rights Law, which is widely regarded as one of the most liberal anti-discrimination laws in the nation. If your employer is located in Kings County or Queens County, you may be able to pursue a claim under the New York City Human Rights Law.
Consult an Employment Law Firm on Long Island
If you faced harassment or discrimination on Long Island, you should retain one of our knowledgeable employment attorneys to represent you. Ingrid M. Fernandez provides vital assistance in our fight for workers’ rights. Call Phillips & Associates at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form.