At Levy Ratner, we represent employees. Our mission is to protect your rights and your ability to earn a living. We know that some employees face discrimination on the job. A large part of our practice is devoted to helping workers facing discrimination stand up for their rights.

Employment discrimination can happen anywhere, a restaurant, a store, in manufacturing, in jobs that require manual labor and in jobs that require a Ph.D.

If you are experiencing workplace harassment, we can help. Call us at 212-627-8100 to find out how we can help. We assist employees all over New York and New Jersey.

What Is A Protected Class?

Your employer cannot discriminate against you because you are over 40, because you have a disability, or because of your ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status.

If you feel that you have been singled out for negative treatment because of any of these, because of your marital or family status, or because you are pregnant, it may be a good idea to speak with an employment law attorney. We also assist those whose arrest record or military service affects their job.

What Is an Example Of Employment Discrimination In New York?

An employer can overstep their bounds or violate New York employment laws in many ways. Here are common violations:

  • You are not hired because of your race, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation.
  • You get unwanted remarks and comments about your age, ethnicity, religion, etc.
  • You are denied promotions or paid differently because of your race, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
  • You are fired because of a personal characteristic or attribute (your hair, skin, accent, etc.).

If you have experienced any of these, you should speak with a lawyer immediately about filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or another agency. It’s important to keep evidence of what happened. Documentation can often make or break a case. You should consult an experienced employment attorney.

We also handle wage and hour violations, such as an employer not paying earned overtime or minimum wage.

Work With A Long-Standing Employee Rights Firm

We are committed to fighting for employees who have been unlawfully discriminated against. Our firm has a long history of success. Established in 1971, our discrimination lawyers have been a part of landmark employment cases and have over 50 years of experience. Call 212-627-8100 to schedule a consultation. You can also reach our team via email. Our mission is to advance the rights of everyone who works.

What laws protect New Yorkers from employment discrimination?

Through a series of federal, state, and local laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals in any aspect of employment because of their age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and more.

Federal laws:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees, and former employees based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees, and former employees based on their age of 40 and over.
    o Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – prohibits workplace discrimination against qualified applicants, employees, and former employees based on their disability and requires reasonable accommodation of those disabilities.
  •  Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees, and former employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
  • Equal Pay Act – requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay—in all forms—for equal work in the same or substantially equal jobs, and employers cannot lower pay to one group to comply with the law.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) – prohibits discrimination based on genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment.

NY State and City have broader antidiscrimination laws compared to the federal level:

  • New York State Human Rights Law – prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodation, and non-sectarian educational institutions. This law establishes protections for applicants, employees, and former employees from actions based on age, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, gender identity or expression, familial status, marital status, military status, national origin, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy-related condition, prior arrest or conviction record, race/color, sex, sexual orientation, and retaliation for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices.
  • New York City Human Rights Law – prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in employment, housing, and public accommodation. This law establishes protections for actions towards individuals based on age, alienage or citizenship status, color, disability, gender (including sexual harassment), gender identity, marital status and partnership status, national origin, pregnancy and lactation accommodations, race, religion/creed, sexual orientation, and status as a veteran or active military service member.

In an employment context, the law prohibits discrimination in hiring, including in job postings and interviews; salary and benefits; performance evaluations; promotions and demotions; discipline and firing; and any decisions that affect the terms and conditions of employment.

Additionally, there are other qualities the law establishes protections in an employment context, for when employers take actions based on an individual’s arrest or conviction record, caregiver status, credit history, pre-employment marijuana testing, unemployment status, sexual and reproductive health decisions, salary history, and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, and sex offenses.

How to file a discrimination claim in NY?

If a discrimination claim is covered by NYC, NY state, and federal law, it can be filed with the New York City Human Rights Commission (NYCCHR), New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR), or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Though different laws cover different types of discrimination and have different rules on filing a complaint, generally these government agencies will receive information about the discrimination complaint, investigate the complaint, and then determine if and how to prosecute the claim through various forms of adjudicative processes. If the government agency is unable to resolve or pursue an action against an employer for a discrimination complaint, the complainant has the right to sue the employer in court to receive the best remedies the worker deserves for the harm they experienced.