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Long Island Hostile Work Environment Attorneys

Hostile Work Environment

New York Hostile Work Environment Lawyer Representing Clients on Long Island

Nobody should have to do their job in a Long Island workplace where they are facing a hostile work environment.

Both New York state and federal law provide protections against harassment in the workplace and allow an employee to file a claim when they are in a hostile work environment. It is critical for Long Island employees to understand that a hostile work environment can develop from different forms of harassment. While hostile work environments certain can be created when there is sexual harassment in the workplace, almost any type of harassment can develop into a hostile work environment over time.

To learn more about filing a hostile work environment claim, or to have one of our Long Island hostile work environment attorneys assess your case, you should get in touch with a lawyer at our firm as soon as possible. At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., we are committed to representing employees in a wide variety of hostile work environment claims.

What is a Hostile Work Environment?

A hostile work environment is unlawful, and it results from harassment in the workplace. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), harassment is defined as “a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The EEOC explains further that harassment is unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, or genetic information.

In addition to federal law, the New York State Human Rights Law also protects employees from harassment arising out of unlawful discrimination, and state law provides more protections than does federal law. In addition to the forms of discrimination described above by the EEOC, New York state law also expressly and explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Under both federal and state law, sexual harassment is an unlawful form of sex discrimination.

Queens and Long Island

Labor Employment Lawyers in Queens and Long Island

Advocating on Behalf of

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., we represent employees in a broad spectrum of legal matters, including:


According to the NY Department of Human Rights, employers can be held responsible for sexual harassment in the workplace in the following circumstances:
If the harassment was the fault of a co-owner, manager, or supervisor the employer is responsible, regardless of whether or not they knew it was occurring
If the harassment occurred among regular employees, the employer can be held responsible if they knew about it, should have known about it, or failed to have a sexual harassment policy in place.
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Employee Discrimination

Our lawyers are prepared to represent clients who face any type of employment discrimination such as:
Gender discrimination
Marital status discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination and FMLA violations
Sexual orientation discrimination, including transgender discrimination and harassment
Age discrimination
Race or national origin discrimination
Disability discrimination
Religious discrimination
Criminal record discrimination
Violations of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
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Wage & Hour Disputes

We handle many cases that involve wage and hour disputes, including people in certain industries who often fall victim to these situations as well as instances involving:
Unpaid overtime
Under-the-table compensation
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Education Law

New York City teachers face challenges inside and outside the classroom. When they face the possibility of losing their jobs, they deserve representation by experienced attorneys.

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., employment law is our sole focus. We have represented teachers facing a broad spectrum of legal issues and we are committed to protecting teachers’ rights. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free initial and confidential consultation at our Queens or Long Island offices today.

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Wrongful Termination

Even in an ‘At Will’ Work Situation, You Have the Right to Work. Employers will always claim that they had a valid reason to lay off or fire an employee. But in many circumstances, this is just disguised discrimination of one form or another. Continued employment and advancement is frequently based on performance reviews. If you have a perfect record, then suddenly go from perfect to pariah, it may be a case of your supervisor or employer giving a negative review in order to have an excuse to remove you from your position or deny a promotion.

Sometimes these “Jekyll and Hyde” switches occur because a superior learned something about a subordinate that then caused him or her to have a negative bias, like the employee was of a certain religion or sexual orientation. Sometimes the reason is more obvious, like a bias against people of a certain race, being male or female, a woman becoming pregnant or people with disabilities.

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Other Employment Law Issues

As a full-service employment law firm, we can also help you with:
Labor and union representation
Mediation and arbitration matters
Employment contract negotiations and matters
Employer defense
Our New York employment attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that all workers have the opportunity to pursue successful careers, and experience workplaces that are free of harassment or other situations that create tension.
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When Does Harassment Constitute a Hostile Work Environment in a Long Island Workplace?

In order for harassment to create an unlawful work environment, one of the following must be true:

  1. Employee must endure the offensive conduct as a condition of continued employment; or
  2. Conduct is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment that a reasonable person would consider to be “hostile.”

What would a reasonable person consider a hostile work environment to entail? According to the EEOC, in order for severe or pervasive conduct to rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment, a reasonable person would need to consider the conduct to be “intimidating, hostile, or abusive.” In order to have a hostile work environment claim, an employee must be able to prove one of the following:

  • Harassing conduct is pervasive and happens regularly; or
  • Harassing conduct only happened once in an isolated incident but it was so severe and serious that it rises to the level of being unlawful.

The EEOC emphasizes that isolated incidents (unless they are serious) will not be considered illegal. Rather, in order to be illegal, the conduct must generate a work environment that would be hostile, intimidating, or offensive.

Examples of Unlawful Harassment Creating a Hostile Work Environment

The following are some examples of behavior that could create a hostile work environment:

  • Making sexually explicit comments in the workplace;
  • Directing sexist or homophobic comments toward an individual worker;
  • Making comments about an employee’s age or asking regularly when they are going to retire;
  • Making racial or ethnic slurs toward an employee who is (or is perceived to be) of that race or ethnicity;
  • Making fun of people with disabilities;
  • Making constant demeaning remarks about older employees in the workplace; or
  • Displaying anti-Semitic or anti-Islamic imagery.

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Contact a Hostile Work Environment Lawyer in Long Island

A hostile work environment can exist when there is almost any kind of harassment occurring on the job. From sexual harassment to harassment based on an employee’s racial or ethnic identity, gender, age, religion or disability, an experienced Long Island hostile work environment lawyer can help you to file a claim. While we know how difficult it can be to come forward with a hostile work environment claim, especially when your employer or a supervisor is the party engaged in the harassing behavior, our advocates will be there for you every step of the way.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about ending the hostile work environment at your job. Contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C. online to learn more about our services or call us today at 347-464-8694 for more information about initiating a hostile work environment claim on Long Island.

Ricotta Marks

Ricotta & Marks, P.C.

We understand that your situation is urgent. Our New York employment discrimination attorneys will respond to your questions and concerns as quickly as possible.

Contact Our Office347.464.8694