Phillips & Associates

Yonkers Hostile Work Environment

Employment Discrimination Attorneys Representing People in Yonkers

Yonkers is the fourth-most populated city in the state of New York. As of 2010, there were nearly 200,000 people living there. The city is home to large communities of Dominican Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Slavic Americans, and Arab Americans. You deserve to be treated with professionalism at your job. It can be stressful to go to work if your supervisor, manager, coworker, or customer is harassing you because of an aspect of your identity that you cannot change. A hostile work environment may arise if you are being harassed due to your sex, race, color, national origin, religion, pregnancy, disability, or age. You may be able to recover damages under New York or federal laws, but it is important to consult an experienced litigator. The Yonkers hostile work environment lawyers at Phillips & Associates may be able to help you.

Identifying a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is created when offensive and harassing actions based on a protected characteristic are either so severe or so pervasive at a workplace that reasonable people would find the environment abusive, intimidating, or hostile. Your employer may be governed by federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, or by the state anti-discrimination law, the New York State Human Rights Law.

Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disabilities. Both Title VII and the ADA are federal anti-discrimination laws that only apply to employers with at least 15 employees. They cap damages based on how many employees an employer has, so larger employers pay more in compensatory and punitive damages, while smaller employers pay less.

The New York State Human Rights Law covers employers with a minimum of four employees, and hostile work environment sexual harassment is prohibited at all workplaces, regardless of size. A hostile work environment attorney in Yonkers cannot get workers punitive damages under state law, but there are no caps on compensatory and punitive damages.

When a protected characteristic is the basis of harassment, it may be actionable. Sometimes multiple protected characteristics are implicated in the harassment. For example, if you are a woman in a wheelchair and face jokes about your sex life as a paralyzed woman by coworkers and a supervisor, these may be construed as behaviors based both on a disability and on your sex. For another example, a hostile work environment based on both religion and national origin could be created if your coworkers send you threatening emails telling you to quit and go back to Iran, pull off your hijab, and send you graphic memes of bombs. It may be a hostile work environment based on nationality and race if a customer calls you the n-word, and your supervisor responds to your complaint by sending you offensive gifs featuring black people and telling you to lighten up and take a joke. Our Yonkers hostile work environment attorneys can help you determine when a line has been crossed.

If you are facing a hostile work environment, you should keep a journal of events as they happen. The journal should be kept contemporaneously with the events, and you should write down dates and use quotes if possible. For example, if your supervisor made a remark about women "not being good managers," you should write the quote down, attribute the quote to your supervisor, and date the entry. You should also confront the harasser and let him or her know that the harassment is unwelcome. In your journal, you should make a note of confronting the harasser.

In some cases, the harassment stops once the harasser is directly confronted. However, you should also report the harassment in accordance with the grievance procedures specified in your employment handbook, or if there are no specific grievance procedures or no handbook, you should give HR written and verbal notice.

Get Advice from a Hostile Work Environment Lawyer in Yonkers or Beyond

At Phillips & Associates, our experienced attorneys help clients who have faced employment discrimination under federal or state laws. If you believe that you have been mistreated at your job, contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form to set up a free consultation and find out what we can do for you.

Client Reviews
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I was a client with this law firm. I can't stress enough how awesome and professional the people are here. Silvia & Erica made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I never had to guess anything. Anytime I call, emailed, or even texted. They were always there. If not they would get back to me as soon as possible. My case was not an easy situation for me but I tell you these guys made it seem like it was. I'm so glad that I use Phillip & Phillip. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to have met such awesome, honest, and caring people. Thank you again. Djuana
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They are the best... I am so grateful to them for their help and support... and I wish them the best... special thanks to Mr. Ed Kennedy and Mr. Phillips. Karim
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