New York City Workplace Harassment Lawyer
Employment Attorneys Serving New York City and Surrounding Areas
You should be able to go to work without fearing harassment. Unfortunately, some workers face harassment in the workplace due to one or more aspects of their identities. Local, state, and federal laws forbid workplace harassment based on protected characteristics, such as sex, race, national origin, and disability. If you are subject to workplace harassment, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a lawsuit. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City workplace harassment lawyers may be able to help you.
Illegal Workplace Harassment includes:
- Sexual Harassment
- Pregnancy Harassment
- Gender Harassment
- National Origin Harassment
- Criminal History Harassment
- Sexual Orientation Harassment
- Racial Harassment
- Age Harassment
- Disability Harassment
Sexual harassment is actionable whether it is quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is when a benefit of employment or protection from an adverse employment action is conditioned on an employee submitting to sexual advances. It can be perpetrated by an authority figure or a person in a position of power such as a supervisor. Hostile work environment harassment is a type of sexual harassment that can be perpetrated by coworkers, supervisors, managers, customers, or clients. It can involve a wide range of conduct or comments that make the workplace abusive or hostile. Sexual harassment can include comments about your appearance, request for sex, dates and unwanted touching’s. In New York City, sexual harassment is prohibited regardless of the size of the workplace or how many workers are employed there.
If you can show that you were treated less well than other employees due to your pregnancy, you may have a claim for pregnancy harassment under the New York City Human Rights Law. To recover damages under the city law, you need to be employed by an employer with at least four employees. Pregnancy harassment is also prohibited under state and federal laws. A claim under these laws involves showing that your workplace was permeated with discriminatory actions or statements that were sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of your work environment. We typically look at the timing of the “adverse action” (meaning the demotion , change in position, reduction in salary or termination) in a Pregnancy Discrimination case. Specifically, the adverse action will take place in one of three periods 1) shortly after you told your employer you were pregnant, 2) when you started to show 3) when you returned from maternity leave. Additionally, you may experience harassing comments about your appearance, ability to work and be a parent or even comments regarding whether you will keep the baby. These comments about your pregnancy along with the temporal proximity of the adverse job action may help prove your Pregnancy Discrimination case. Some woman will have a job offer rescinded after disclosing that they were pregnant or asking about maternity leave policies. You may also have a claim for “failure to hire” if you were not given a job based on your pregnancy.
If you are subject to racial slurs, derogatory images, racist symbols, or other offensive conduct or comments due to your race, you may have a claim for racial harassment under city, state, or federal laws. To establish a claim under the New York City Human Rights Law, you would need to show that you were treated less well than others due to your race. For example, if you receive a noose from your coworkers or are called the n-word, a workplace harassment attorney in New York City can help you bring a claim. The city law is interpreted broadly to allow for the remedial purpose of the law to be effectuated. More stringent standards apply to state and federal claims.
National Origin Harassment
If you are treated less well than others due to your actual or perceived national origin, you may have a claim for national origin harassment under the New York City Human Rights Law. Harassing conduct arising out of your national origin may consist of derogatory remarks, slurs, insults, physical bullying, and more. To recover damages under state or federal law, the harassing conduct must be so severe or pervasive that it permeates the workplace, creating a hostile work environment.
The New York City Human Rights Law, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibit age harassment. However, the ADEA protects only workers who are at least age 40 from age-based harassment and discrimination. The state law applies to workers who are at least 18. The city law prohibits age harassment against workers of any age. To recover damages, you need to show that you were treated less well than others in the workplace due to your age.
Criminal History Harassment
You may be able to recover damages for criminal history harassment under the city or state laws. To recover under the city law, you will need to show that you were treated less well than others due to your protected criminal history. The standard is higher to recover damages under the New York State Human Rights Law. Your New York City workplace harassment attorney would need to show that discriminatory remarks or conduct related to your criminal history permeated the workplace so greatly that it became abusive or hostile.
Gender harassment is a type of sex discrimination that occurs if somebody harasses a worker due to their gender. Often, gender harassment involves stereotypes about the roles or functions associated with a gender. If you were treated less well than others in the workplace due to your gender, you may have a claim for gender harassment under the city law. Under the state law, you will need to establish that the gender harassment was so severe or pervasive that it created an abusive workplace.
Sexual Orientation Harassment
Sexual orientation harassment is expressly prohibited under city and state laws. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, you will need to show that you were treated less well than other employees because you were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual, or perceived as being so. You also can bring a claim under the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, a state law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance indicating that it believes that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of gender discrimination under Title VII, which would make sexual orientation harassment a form of gender harassment under federal law. However, this issue is not fully settled.
Local, state, and federal laws prohibit disability harassment. Each of these laws defines a disability differently. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, which is most protective, a disability is defined as any physical, medical, psychological, or mental impairment, or a history or record of such an impairment. If you are treated less well than other employees due to a disability that meets this definition, whether it is an actual or perceived disability, you may be able to recover damages under the city law. The New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also provide protections against disability harassment in the workplace.
Retain a Skilled Workplace Harassment Lawyer in New York City
If you were harmed by harassment at your job, you should consult a seasoned employment law attorney. Phillips & Associates represents victims of harassment in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, along with Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Contact us at (866) 229-9441 or via our online form.
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