Employment Discrimination Attorneys in Queens and Long Island, NY
Employment discrimination is a pressing issue within New York workplaces, and represents an ever-increasing concern. In 2019 alone, over 3,000 employment discrimination cases were filed in New York through the EEOC. New York State was the first state to enact employment discrimination legislation seventy-five years ago, yet discrimination persists in our workplaces. Ideally, no employee will face the burden of discrimination. Such conduct can significantly impact an individual’s peace of mind, work performance, or mental and emotional wellbeing. The team of employment discrimination attorneys at Ricotta & Marks believe that no one should endure discrimination.
If you or a loved one has experienced employment discrimination, you may be unsure of where to turn for assistance. There is often no clear answer regarding how to proceed, but it is important to have your voice be heard, and to consult with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer for guidance about how to proceed.
At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., we represent employees in a broad spectrum of legal matters, including:
- Gender Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- FMLA Violations
- Disability Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Marital Status Discrimination
- Transgender Discrimination and Harassment
- Race Discrimination
- Religious Discrimination
- Wage & Hour Disputes
- Sexual Harassment
- Hostile Work Environment
- Wrongful Termination
- Workplace Retaliation
- Age Discrimination
- Labor & Union Disputes
- Lawyers for New York Teachers
- Employment Contract Disputes
- Mediation & Arbitration for Employment Disputes
Identifying Harassment Or Discrimination In The Workplace
The New York State Human Rights Law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both state that employees are protected against unlawful discrimination or harassment within the workplace. Such legislation typically covers workplaces of fifteen or more employees, protecting full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary, and undocumented workers as well as volunteers, in most cases.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination refers to segregation or separation on the basis of a protected category. For instance, if a worker is denied a promotion based on their age, this could be classified as discrimination under the law. Discrimination is illegal under the law. The protected categories under employment discrimination law include:
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation,
- Disability / Accommodations, or
- Any other protected category
What Constitutes Workplace Harassment?
Harassment is quite different from discrimination and is also protected under state and federal law. Harassment is any threatening behavior directed at an individual employee or group of employees. This illegal behavior can take many forms but, generally speaking, harassment is either physical or emotional in nature:
- Physical Harassment: This type of harassment includes sexual assault or any other violence to the body.
- Emotional Harassment: More covert than physical harassment, emotional harassment includes bullying or the manipulation of a person’s actions through social behaviors. This type of harassment can be much more difficult to define and identify in the workplace, but is quite pervasive and harmful.
- Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of this unlawful conduct. It is important to note that sexual harassment can happen both physically and/or emotionally. Examples of other harassing behavior in the workplace include:
- Offensive jokes
- Physical or sexual assaults or threats
- Ridicule or mockery
- Interference with work performance
Any individual can commit harassment in the workplace, including managers, supervisors in other areas, coworkers, agents of the employer, or a non-employee. It is not always easy to recognize harassment in the workplace. If you are unsure of whether or not you are a victim of harassment or discrimination, considering speaking with an experienced employment discrimination attorney today.
What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Employment Discrimination Or Harassment
In a situation where you are experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace, it is advised to:
- Consult an employment discrimination attorney to discuss your legal options
- Seek assistance from the appropriate person in your workplace
- File a complaint with the EEOC or New York State Division of Human Rights
Many New York State employers maintain an anti-discrimination policy that clearly outlines prohibited conduct. Moreover, all employers must have an anti-sexual harassment policy and prevention training. Regardless, discrimination and harassment in the workplace persists. Employment discrimination attorneys at Ricotta & Marks understand the patterns of such conduct and believe that employees deserve fair and just treatment.
Title IX and Sex Discrimination
Federal legislation specifically protects individuals from discrimination based on sex within educational programs or activities that received federal support. Title XI of the Education Amendments of 1972 covers state and local agencies, schools, and other relevant institutions that are funded by the United States government.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing the federal laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment, or any other unjust treatment under the law. The EEOC is able to field complaints and conduct investigations into any allegations. If you file a complaint through the EEOC and allegations are proven, the EEOC will work to settle the charge. The Commission maintains a public portal to file complaints. There are filing deadlines, so ensure that the complaint is filed in a timely manner following the illegal conduct.
Why Do You Need a New York Employment Discrimination Attorney?
We expect our workplaces to be friendly environments where we can collaborate with others and get the support we need from an attentive manager. Not all workplace are like this, though. In fact, many are toxic.
People face employment discrimination and harassment at work on a daily basis. They may not get promoted because they are the oldest employees in their departments. They may get called mean names because they were born in a different country. Many employees are even terminated for no good reason.
As an employee, it is important that you understand your legal rights.
Dealing with discrimination and harassment is stressful. A person may enjoy his or her job duties but not enjoy dealing with nasty coworkers and managers. This can create a dilemma. You may be scared to go to work every day. You may fear you will lose your job and have no income to pay bills. Victims may be unable to function. Some develop depression and anxiety. Workplace stress affects one’s personal life, as well.
What the Law Says about Employment Discrimination
As an employee, it is important that you understand your legal rights. Federal, State and New York City Law makes it illegal for employers to discriminate or retaliate against employees. The law prohibits discrimination based on age, race, creed, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation or membership in other protected classes.
A person should not face discrimination for engaging in legal activities outside of the workplace.
When they are off the clock, what an employee does should not be of concern to their employers. Engaging in political activities or representing a union are allowed. None of these factors have to do with work performance, which is a legitimate reason to fire someone.
The Employment Discrimination Lawyers At Ricotta & Marks P.C. Can Help
Every employment discrimination case is unique. If you were a victim of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you may feel alone or unsure of how to best proceed. Each case requires an individual strategy, and that is what the employment discrimination attorneys at R&M specialize in. We take into consideration every aspect of your case, creating a legal strategy unique to your own situation.
If you feel as though you are being discriminated against, you should contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C. Our employment discrimination attorneys in Queens, NY and Long Island, NY can help you navigate the process. Proving these claims can be challenging, so you need someone who knows how to gather the evidence you need to achieve a favorable outcome. If you were a victim of employment discrimination, you deserve to have your voice be heard. Let us take the burden off you. Contact us today to fight for your rights.