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Protecting Rights

Protecting Rights

Protecting the Rights of Gays, Lesbians
and Transgender People in New York

Our state is unusual in that it has been fairly proactive in providing protections for people who are gay. The realization that if people are driven out of their current jobs, certain fields will become primarily or exclusively “gay professions” and will damage the community as a whole has caused the promotion of laws to protect gay people from harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., our Queens sexual orientation discrimination attorneys are compassionate and results-focused advocates for LGBTQ employees. You deserve safe, fair conditions in the workplace—and your sexual orientation should never be used as the basis for discrimination, mistreatment, or harassment. If you or your loved one was the victim of sexual orientation discrimination in New York, please call us at 347-727-0661 or contact us online to schedule your free initial appointment.

We Handle the Full Range of Workplace Discrimination Claims

Workplace discrimination claims are notoriously complex. One of the many challenges is that discrimination can be subtle as well as overt. You may have been the victim of sexual orientation discrimination based on outright, straightforward illegal actions by a supervisor or, alternatively, you may have been forced to endure a pervasive, day-after-day hostile work environment that makes it impossible for you to feel comfortable and thrive in the workplace. At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., we handle all types of sexual orientation discrimination claims—from hostile work environments to wrongful terminations.

If you have been passed over more than once for promotion when less qualified, straight people have not, or if you’ve been written up for seemingly minor or nonexistent things, these may be discriminatory behaviors and are actionable. What’s more, if you file a complaint with your human resources department and then are called on the carpet for it by your supervisor, or receive retaliation in some other way, this is also illegal. If you’ve experienced this, it’s time to call a lawyer. Sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation for reporting the mistreatment are both illegal.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Know Your Rights Under the Law

In New York, employees have strong protections against sexual orientation discrimination. LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace may be a violation of local, state, and federal law. More specifically, you may have a sexual orientation claim that arises under any of the following: 

  • New York State Law: Under the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), employment discrimination is strictly prohibited based on actual or perceived sexual orientation. You should never be treated worse than a heterosexual or heterosexual-presenting employee. 
  • Local Law: In some jurisdictions, local laws provide additional protection to LGBTQ employees. As an example, Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York makes sexual orientation a protected class and bars discrimination based on gender identity. 
  • Federal Law: In the June 2020 case of Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that discrimination based on sexual orientation is, by definition, a form of sex-based discrimination. As such, it is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

The bottom line is that any action against you in the workplace that is motivated by your sexual preference is a reason to call our law firm. Do not assume that you are without rights or that your case is “not enough” to warrant taking legal action. Workplace discrimination based on LGBTQ status is against the law. You always have the right to consult with an experienced attorney.  We offer a free consultation, so come in, tell us your story and we can tell you whether or not you have a case. We do this for the protection of everyone’s rights. We believe in what we fight for.

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:

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination occurs when an employee is treated less favorably because of their age. While experience is a valid factor in making an employment decision, workers cannot be denied opportunities merely because they are older. You may have been the victim of age discrimination if you suffered an adverse employment action related to your age. Some common examples of adverse employment actions include:

Denial of a job opportunity
Denial of a promotion
Less desirable assignments than other workers
Termination or unlawful targeting in layoffs and
Hostile work environment (harassment).
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Race Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines race/color discrimination as treating a person (applicant or employee) unfavorably because of their race or because of characteristics that are commonly associated with race. In practice, workplace race discrimination can come in many different forms:

It is illegal to subject an employee to a hostile work environment on the basis of their race or color.
It is illegal to not hire you, fire you, discipline you, not promote you, or a take any other adverse action against you that is motivated, even just in part,on your race; and
It is illegal for employers to ask about your race during an interview, although they can collect the information during the application process for affirmative action purposes;
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Disability Discrimination

The perception that a person with a disability is somehow unable to do the same work as someone who is “able bodied” is incorrect. With the proper equipment and a reasonable accommodation, a disabled person can often perform the same work as anyone else. Frequently, companies choose not to hire disabled workers because they will have to make those accommodations, or if a person becomes disabled while working for an employer, that employer may choose not to cooperate in making the necessary adjustments for that individual to continue working.
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Religious Discrimination

Reasonable accommodations based on an employee's religious needs may include:
Allowing an employee to take time off on religious holidays;
Permitting the employee to alter his or her uniform to allow for religious garments, such as head coverings
Modification of job duties to allow for an employee's religious convictions
Permitting the employee to take prayer breaks during the workday; and
Altering the company's grooming requirements to allow for religious expressions, such as bears or hair length.

Under Title VII, all religious must be treated equally. If a Christian employee is permitted to take time off to attend a special church service, a Wiccan or Jewish employee must have the same right.

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Gender Discrimination

Many industries have stereotypes for which gender they attract. Women tend to be teachers; men tend to be in sales. Stereotypes do not define everyone, nor should they affect hiring when a competent person applies for a job not typically held by his or her gender. Further, there are industries that tend to push one sex or the other into certain jobs. All of this is gender discrimination and you don’t have to tolerate it.
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Hostile Work Environment

The law narrowly defines a hostile work environment as one in which the hostility relates to some form of discrimination. Some examples of what the law considers to be contributing factors to a hostile work environment include:

Racial or ethnic slurs
Sexually explicit or demeaning comments
Homophobic or transphobic comments
Hateful comments about members of a certain religious group
Mocking jokes or comments about people with disabilities
Jokes about a person's age
Offensive jokes, emails or posters containing any of the above

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How Our Queens Gay & Lesbian Discrimination Attorneys Can Help

Our firm has grown a substantial practice in protecting your rights as a gay man, lesbian or transgender person, using state and federal law. We believe that everyone deserves the same rights and protections in the workplace. Period. No one should have to work in an environment that is hostile, where epithets are hurled at you because of your choice of partner, and you are passed over for promotion or written up unnecessarily because your supervisor doesn’t “approve of your lifestyle choice.”When you reach out to our law firm, our New York LGBTQ workplace rights lawyers will: 

  • Conduct a comprehensive, confidential assessment of your discrimination claim;
  • Explain your rights under federal, state, and local labor regulations;
  • Gather the information and evidence to support your claim; and
  • Devise a legal strategy that is narrowly tailored to fit your specific situation. 

Our attorneys will aggressively defend your rights and will take your case all the way to court if that is what is necessary. We understand that your livelihood, your community and your pride are at stake here. The more gay-friendly all workplaces become, the easier it is for everyone to be accepted. The whole situation may feel uncomfortable and embarrassing to you, but know that standing up for your rights will not just help you, but will benefit the community as a whole.

Call Our New York LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Lawyers for Immediate Help

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., our New York workplace discrimination attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of gay and lesbian employees. If you or your loved one was a victim discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, we are available to help. Contact our law firm at 347-727-0661 to discuss your situation. Initial consultations are strictly confidential. With offices in Queens and Long Island, we represent employees throughout New York City and New York State.

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