What is Employment Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employment discrimination is where an employee is being treated differently because of a protected class. Those protected classes are race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, past criminal convictions. You cannot be treated differently because of those classes. Some examples of employment discrimination are where if you feel like you're being given harder jobs because of your race, or you're being given less hours because of your gender, or comments are being made about your race, or your gender, or your ethnicity, or your religion, or your beliefs. And if you feel that you have been treated differently, or you're not sure if it's because of those protected classes, give us a call at Phillips & Associates, maybe we can help.

New York City Attorneys Fighting for Employee Rights

Employment discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently from other employees because of their membership in a protected class. Protected classes in New York include race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, pregnancy, and past criminal convictions. Your employer may not treat you differently because you belong to one of these classes. For example, it may not give you harder jobs due to your race or provide you with fewer hours due to your gender. If you believe that you have been treated differently, and you do not know whether it may be because of your membership in a protected class, you should contact the New York City employment discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates. Watch the video on this page to learn more.

What is Considered Employment Discrimination in the Workplace?

As an employee, you want your employer to judge you based on your performance, rather than on your identity. Workplace discrimination may cause extreme distress, humiliation, stress, and discomfort.

Discrimination may include a wide range of adverse employment actions taken against a worker due to their membership in a protected class, including hiring, firing, layoffs, promotion, demotion, loss of benefits, harassment, and more. For example, if you are not hired due to your race, this is one type of employment discrimination. In another example, if you are subjected to unwelcome daily comments about sex due to your gender, this may be sexual harassment. Different classes are protected under federal, state, and local laws, and you may be able to bring a lawsuit if you suffer harm due to employment discrimination.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is one of several federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination. Protected classes under this law include race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. Other federal laws that prohibit discrimination include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). In many situations, New York law provides a greater scope of protection than does federal law. For example, protected classes under New York law include political activities, the use of a service dog, criminal accusations, military status, and domestic violence victim status.

Many victims of discrimination are not entirely certain whether the conduct at issue was discriminatory. We may use two types of evidence to establish that you suffered from discrimination, either direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence would include any statements by managers or supervisors that are directly connected to the adverse employment action taken against you and your membership in a protected class. For example, if your supervisor tells you that you are not being put in contact with customers because you are Middle Eastern, and the company wants to cultivate an all-American image, this would be direct evidence of discrimination.

It is more likely that we will need to use circumstantial evidence, since most companies and supervisors are trained not to openly state discriminatory reasons for employment actions. Circumstantial evidence might include the timing of a decision, a deviation from the company's customary practices, or information about a person who received a benefit that you did not receive.

Discuss Your Situation With an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in New York City

If you suspect that you were treated differently from your coworkers, you may be wondering what is considered employment discrimination in the workplace. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City attorneys can evaluate what happened to you and represent you if appropriate. Contact us online or call us at (866) 229-9441 to set up an appointment with a discrimination or harassment attorney. We fight for employee rights in Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.