Employment Discrimination Attorneys in Queens Protecting Workers’ Rights
Every individual has the right to a safe and healthy work environment. Nearly 70,000 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the EEOC in 2020, suggesting that this issue is pervasive and ever-present. Experiencing discrimination in the workplace can deeply affect a person’s peace of mind, causing serious emotional distress and/or negatively impacting job performance. No two discrimination cases are exactly alike. Each case, however, represents a serious impediment of legal rights. If you or a loved one has experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, the expert Ricotta & Marks employment discrimination attorneys in Queens will fight for your rights.
At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., our firm has grown a substantial practice in protecting employees who have been discriminated against for any number of reasons. Whether you were denied a promotion because of your age or because you became pregnant, were harassed because of your sexual orientation or your race, or penalized because of your religion, you do not have to suffer in silence or tolerate these actions. Taking a stand can not only help you, but you probably have co-workers who have incurred the same mistreatment.
Our employment discrimination attorneys in Queens knowledge and application of the relevant state and federal employment laws may be the solution to your problem. Contact our law offices in Queens or Long Island to schedule your free confidential initial consultation by calling 347-464-8694. There are time limits regarding how long you have to file a discrimination claim so it is in your best interest to seek counsel as soon after the incident as possible.
Identifying Harassment Or Discrimination In The Workplace
It can be difficult to identify discrimination or harassment in the workplace. The New York State Human Rights Law protects employees from unlawful discrimination or harassment in the workplace and defines harassment as any unwanted communication that makes another individual feel unsafe or in imminent danger or being subjected to inferior terms,
conditions or privileges of employment.. To identify discrimination or harassment in the workplace, it is important to fully understand what behaviors, words, and actions contribute to its illegality.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination is the unlawful treatment of an individual solely based on:
- Sexual Orientation,
- Disability / Accommodations, or
- Any other protected category
New York state law protects employees and job applicants against being discriminated against on the basis of any one or more of these protected categories. For instance, if an employer fails to hire a well-qualified employee based on their age, that would be considered employment
Employment Discrimination Attorneys in Queens for Any Type of Claim
Our employment discrimination attorneys in Queens handle every type of claim, including:
- Age discrimination
- Race or national origin discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Religious discrimination
What Is Workplace Harassment?
Harassment is any unwanted contact or conduct that is based on race, color, creed, gender, sex, disability, national origin, age, or other protected category. The New York State Human Rights Law states that:
- Harassment becomes an unlawful practice when it subjects employees to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges because of the employee’s membership in one or more of these protected categories.
- Even if the employee did not previously file a complaint with the employer, harassment may still be found to exist under the law.
Generally, the behavior must actively create a hostile, offensive, or intimidating environment. If a coworker constantly insults or belittles another individual at the office, that will likely be considered harassment.
While workplace harassment comes in many different forms, the most basic are verbal and physical. Examples of harassing behavior in the workplace can include:
- Offensive jokes
- Physical or sexual assaults or threats
- Ridicule or mockery
- Interference with work performance
It is important to note that any individual can commit harassment in the workplace, including managers, supervisors in other areas, coworkers, agents of the employer, or a non-employee. Employment discrimination attorneys can assist you in determining whether you have experienced workplace harassment.
Sexual Harassment by a Supervisor
Our skilled and compassionate employment law firm also handles sensitive situations involving:
- Gender discrimination
- Marital status discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination and FMLA violations
- Sexual orientation discrimination, including transgender discrimination and harassment
Additionally, we help people who believe they have been denied opportunities because of criminal record discrimination as well as situations where employers may have violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) when deciding whether to hire someone based on background medical information.
Our employee discrimination attorneys in Queens are here to make sure you are treated with respect as a prospective hire and once you are an employee. If you feel that you are being mistreated by an employer because of your age, race or any other part of your identity, we encourage you to come in and tell us your story. We will take the time to listen and understand what you are going through. We will be able to see how the discrimination is taking place, and we can help you determine what actions you want to take going forward.
Not only do we have experience working with the New York State Division of Human Rights, and filing claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but we also have the litigation experience to pursue cases in state and federal courts successfully.
What To Do If You Experience Workplace Discrimination or Sexual Harassment
Employers must clearly state that no form of harassment or discrimination will be tolerated in the workplace. Nevertheless, harassment and employment discrimination still occurs. In a situation where you are experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace, it is advised to:
- Seek legal assistance from employment discrimination attorneys
- Reach out for assistance, beginning with the designated person at your workplace.
- File a complaint with a relevant governing agency like the New York Division of Human Rights or the EEOC
If you experience discrimination, you are not alone. As a victim of employment discrimination or harassment, options are available to you. Employment discrimination attorneys at Ricotta & Marks are equipped to recognize the patterns of discrimination or harassment and fight diligently to ensure that you are treated fairly in your workplace.
- Title IX and Sex Discrimination
Sexual harassment and discrimination are unfortunately some of the most common types of harassment experienced in the workplace. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from discrimination based on sex specifically within education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
For more information regarding sexual harassment or discrimination, our employment discrimination attorneys are here to help. Visit our online resource here.
- Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964
Title VII federally protects individuals from discrimination and outlines unlawful employment practices. Dismissal or segregation based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is explicitly prohibited by Title VII. Thus, if an individual is being limited from attending work events or meetings or is dismissed from their position due to any of these factors, there may be evidence of employment discrimination under Title VII.
It should be noted that Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees and protects prospective employees and job applicants as well.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing laws that prevent employment discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This agency maintains a public portal where individuals may file an employment discrimination case at the federal level.
Federal Law Prohibits Employment Discrimination in New York
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that protect employees from workplace discrimination. There are a number of federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace, including but not limited to the following:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This lahttps://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/w makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. It prohibits workplace discrimination at multiple stages of employment, from the application and hiring process, to promotions at work, to termination. In addition, Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who exercises his or her rights under Title VII. Beyond specific acts of discrimination, Title VII also requires employers to provide employees with reasonable accommodations for the employee’s sincerely held religious practices. Similar to the ADA, which we will explain below, the employer is only exempted from providing a reasonable accommodation if it would result in an undue hardship to the employee’s business operation.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act: This law is an amendment to Title VII, and it makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of the employee’s pregnancy, because the employee gave birth to a child, or because the employee has a medical connection connected to a pregnancy or childbirth. Under this amendment to Title VII, it is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate an employee who exercises her rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): An employer cannot discriminate against a person on the basis of age when the person is 40 years old or older. The law protects job applicants and current employees from age-related discrimination. It also prohibits employers from advertising certain jobs on the basis of age (for example, an employer cannot advertise a job by saying: “Only applicants aged 35 and younger should apply”). The ADEA also protects employees from retaliation. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee filed a discrimination charge, simply complained about discrimination, or participated in a discrimination investigation.
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Under the ADA, it is illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability. The law protects people at various stages of employment, from the job application process through to employment promotions and terminations. The ADA protects people with various types of disabilities, including physical and mental disabilities. In addition, the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities as long as providing the accommodation would not create an undue hardship for the employer.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA): Under the EPA, it is unlawful to pay men and women different salaries for performing equal work in the same job. In other words, an employer cannot hire a man and a woman to perform the same job at the same worksite and pay them different amounts because of their sex.
New York State Laws Prohibits Discrimination in Employment
State laws can provide additional protections against workplace discrimination.
For example, under the New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person because of sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Notably, Title VII does not explicitly provide protections against sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, although the prohibition against sex discrimination has been construed to include these protections.
The New York City Human Rights Law also offers protections against workplace discrimination. The New York City Human Rights Law protects against all of the forms of discrimination that are covered by Title VII and NYCHRL. Additionally, The City Human Rights Law has lesser requirements to make a claim for discrimination.
If you have questions about whether to file your claim in federal or state court, our experienced employment discrimination attorneys in Queens can help.
Employment Discrimination Attorneys in Queens, New York Advocating For You
You do not have to tolerate illegal roadblocks when obtaining a job or accept working in a hostile environment. At Ricotta & Marks, we work tirelessly to uphold the rights of employees. Employment discrimination can leave an individual feeling helpless and alone. Oftentimes, seeking legal assistance is an excellent course of action for employees who are experiencing hostile work environments.
Employment discrimination lawyers at Ricotta & Marks have a proven success record in receiving justice for victims of workplace discrimination and harassment. If you were a victim of employment discrimination, you have a voice. Contact us today. Let us uphold your rights and ensure they remain protected.
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