Anytime people are judged based on their age, gender or the color of their skin, it’s wrong. But when this type of discrimination occurs in the workplace, it’s more than wrong — it’s against the law.
A woman being passed over for a promotion because she is pregnant. An older gentleman being “let go” so the company can hire someone younger and cheaper to replace him. A qualified applicant not getting a fair shake in the interview process because of the color of his skin. At Belluck & Fox, our employment discrimination lawyers unfortunately hear these types of stories all the time from frustrated workers. In fact, our outrage at hearing about these types of cases is what drives us to fight fiercely for the rights of workers who have been wrongfully discriminated against by their employers.
If you feel you have been the victim of wrongful termination in New York, contact our experienced attorneys today to tell us your story and to discuss your legal options for seeking the compensation you deserve.
Call us now or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. We will promptly review your case in the strictest of confidence, with no obligation to you.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Under New York State labor law, a person has suffered discrimination if he or she is treated differently in a way that has an adverse impact. Workplace discrimination can come in many forms and may be based on any of the following factors:
- Race, color of skin or national origin
- Gender (including pregnancy)
- Age (for those 40 and older)
- Disability (including obesity and stress-related illnesses)
- Religion or political affiliation or belief
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Veteran status
- Genetic predisposition and carrier status (meaning those who may be susceptible to diseases due to their genetics)
- An arrest or conviction record
- Retaliation (such as for whistleblowers who file a complaint to report wrongdoing)
Depending on where you work in New York, there may be other types of protections that extend to you. Talk to one of our workplace discrimination lawyers today to get advice on your particular case and determine what steps you may be able to take to pursue justice.
Examples of Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination can rear its ugly head in many ways, and the results of an employer’s unfair and unlawful actions can leave a worker feeling angry, mistreated, abused or violated. Examples of workplace discrimination include:
- Being fired or terminated due to age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability or any of the other factors listed above
- Being passed over in the hiring process based on one of those factors
- Being denied a promotion or the appropriate salary
- Being fired, terminated or denied time off due to pregnancy (this applies to fathers, as well)
- Retaliation against employees who are whistleblowers or who complain about discrimination or environmental misconduct
Employers that perpetrate discrimination or allow it to fester with their ranks are responsible for exposing employees to a toxic, uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable work environment. If you feel or suspect that your rights have been violated, seek help from an experienced New York employment discrimination lawyer at Belluck & Fox now. We will review your case for free and discuss how you may be able to seek compensation from your employer.
How to File an Employment Discrimination Complaint
If you have been the victim of discrimination at your workplace, an experienced employment discrimination lawyer can help you file a complaint with the appropriate agency, collect evidence for your claim, and start the process of filing a lawsuit against your employer. Depending on your situation, you may need to file a discrimination complaint with:
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- The New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Equal Opportunity Development
- The New York State Division of Human Rights
- The New York City Commission on Human Rights
According to the New York State Department of Labor, your discrimination complaint should include:
- Your name, address and phone number, and the contact information for your attorney if you have one
- The name and address of your employer
- The type or types of discrimination involved in your case (for example: race, gender, disability, age)
- The names of anyone who was involved in the discrimination (including witnesses)
- An explanation of what happened, when it happened and why you think discrimination took place
- Any other information that would help explain your complaint
- Your signature and/or your lawyer’s signature and the date
Because each discrimination case is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to handling these types of claims. Factors that may influence your case include what type of discrimination you faced, whether your employer is a public agency or a private company, how many employees the company has and where the employer is located, among other factors.
How Can a New York Employment Discrimination Lawyer Help with My Case?
You can certainly file a complaint with a city, state or federal agency without the help of an attorney. However, we strongly suggest consulting with a lawyer first to help you understand the process and determine your options for pursuing compensation.
For example, the nonprofit organization Workplace Fairness warns that once you file a complaint with a New York City or state agency, you cannot file a lawsuit to seek compensation unless your case is dismissed for “administrative convenience” reasons. In addition, if your case is successfully resolved through your complaint with the government agency, you will more than likely be required to sign a release of your legal claims. An experienced lawyer would take this into account when evaluating the first steps in your case.
On the other hand, if you want to file an employment discrimination lawsuit to seek compensation in federal court, you are required to first file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and have it dismissed. This way, you show that you have exhausted your administrative options for resolving the claim, Workplace Fairness explains. Again, an experienced attorney can quickly determine from the facts of your case what courses of action may be right for you.
What Type of Damages Can I Seek for Workplace Discrimination?
Adding to the complexities of deciding how to pursue compensation for your workplace discrimination claim are the restrictions on what type of damages victims can seek. Depending on how you file your claim, you may be eligible for:
Monetary relief: This includes back pay and front pay, or wages that you would have been paid after the case is over.
Compensatory damages: This covers emotional pain and suffering caused by the discrimination.
Punitive damages: These are meant to punish the employer.
Attorneys’ fees: In some cases, the employer can be forced to pay your attorneys’ fees, as well.
At the employment discrimination law firm of Belluck & Fox, we have handled all types of discrimination cases, and we treat each client with the individual attention you and your case deserve. We will go over the details of your case with a fine-tooth comb to identify all of the ways in which we may be able to pursue justice for you.
Contact a New York Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today
As soon as you suspect that you have been the victim of workplace discrimination, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Belluck & Fox. There are strict deadlines for filing discrimination complaints and lawsuits in New York, and you can’t afford to waste time when discrimination is taking a toll on your livelihood.
Our lawyers are dedicated to standing up for the rights of workers who have been scarred by the injustice of discrimination, and we will fight to hold employers accountable for their unscrupulous actions.
Contact us now by filling out our online form, or give us a call to schedule a free consultation about your case.
The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
New York City Commission on Human Rights: Filing a Complaint
New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Equal Opportunity Development
New York State Department of Labor: How to File a Discrimination Claim
New York State Division of Human Rights: File a Complaint
U.S. Department of Labor: Genetic Information and the Workplace
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Filing a Charge of Discrimination
Workplace Fairness: Filing a Discrimination Claim – New York