Attorneys Fighting Against Workplace Discrimination
Most employees are hired on an at-will basis, meaning they can be terminated for any nondiscriminatory reason. Under federal, state and local laws, however, employers cannot terminate employees on the basis of their protected class. In other words, it is against the law to discriminate against employees and job applicants.
We Are Vigorous Employee Advocates
At Katz Melinger PLLC, we help clients who have suffered employment discrimination based on:
- National origin
- Alienage or citizenship status
- Gender (including sexual harassment)
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Marital or partnership status
- Arrest or conviction record
- Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sex offenses
- Unemployment status
- Caregiver status
- Credit history
We have a history of successfully advocating for employee rights, including the right of protected classes under Title VII and state and local laws to be free from discrimination in the workplace. From our office in Manhattan, we represent clients throughout New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County and its surrounding areas, and northern New Jersey.
Who Is Protected Under Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on a worker’s race, color, sex (which includes pregnancy, sexual orientation, and transgender status), religion, and national origin. Title VII applies only to these specific characteristics. It also applies only to employers with 15 or more employees; however, smaller employers may still be subject to claims under state or local laws.
Do Any Other Protected Classes Exist?
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. It applies to employers with 20 or more employees. The federal Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and applies to employers with more than 15 employees.
New York has created additional protected classes through state law. These additional classes provide protection from discrimination based on genetic information, marital status, military status, sexual orientation, lawful recreational activities, political activities, and other characteristics.
New York City has also enacted laws that further expand the list of protected classes. These include unemployment status, alienage or citizenship status, caregiver status, and credit history.
Additionally, under the Fair Chance Act, employers are prohibited from asking about a criminal record prior to making a job offer, although exceptions exist for some occupations.
Because there are different protected classes under different laws, it is important to contact an employment attorney if you believe you have been discriminated against for any reason.
How Do I Prove Discrimination?
Many people are hesitant to make claims about discrimination because they believe discrimination is difficult to prove. Fortunately, there are ways to help your case. For example, you can keep a journal of discriminatory comments or actions as they occur, so you a record of dates, times and accurate quotes.
There are other methods for gathering evidence, but doing so incorrectly may harm your case. If you believe you have experienced discrimination at work, consult with our attorneys as early as possible so we can guide you in how to compile evidence and the best steps to take.
What Evidence Is Needed To Prove Employment Discrimination?
You will want to gather any evidence that shows not only that you are being treated differently from other employees, but that the reason for that disparate treatment is your membership in a protected class (race, gender, disability, etc.). It’s a good idea to discreetly take notes of conversations with your boss or coworker (complete with dates and other info) that show or suggest discriminatory attitudes/behaviors. It can also be helpful to find paperwork containing discriminatory language or showing disparate treatment, such as repeated failure to be promoted despite being the most qualified candidate. If you aren’t sure whether a piece of evidence is relevant, simply show it to your attorney.
Employer Defense Of Discrimination Claims
Because employment laws are continually changing in New York and New Jersey, employers need an experienced attorney who keeps abreast of the latest developments in the law.
We will provide clear explanations of your legal options and obligations as an employer. With us, you can trust that you are getting skilled employment law attorneys who can clearly communicate the merits of any case in an honest, objective manner. If you are being accused of allowing discrimination against an employee or group of employees, delay can be costly. Seek the advice of an employment law firm that routinely handles both sides of employment law disputes.
While we strive to resolve legal matters cost-effectively, we are capable courtroom attorneys who can follow through all the way to trial.
We Push For Results. We Focus On Solutions.
Our lawyers approach each case involving discrimination with the confidence that stems from a successful practice. We know when employers may be reluctant to disclose information. We know when an employee has a meritorious claim. That is why we provide each client with a thorough case evaluation. We can then inform you of the benefits, risks and potential consequences of your legal options. We can advise you on the best course of action.
You can also read answers to common questions about discrimination on our website.