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New York City, New Jersey & Philadelphia Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Attorneys

New York Employment Lawyers Protecting Your Workplace Rights

When you apply for a job or go to work, you expect to be judged on your performance. Unfortunately, some employers do not know their obligations under the law, or they may know what is expected but try to cut corners and ignore the law. They may fire, fail to promote, harass, or offer unequal pay to a certain employee due to his or her membership in a protected class. Whether you are harmed by employment discrimination or harassment, or your employer has failed to pay you properly, it is important to consult an experienced employment attorney. The Arcé Law Group is ready to help you recover damages and hold your employer accountable.

Our firm represents employees in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. from offices in New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia. We handle cases in state and federal courts as well as before the EEOC. The Arcé Law Group has obtained several verdicts in the millions of dollars in employment discrimination and sexual harassment cases, including the largest employment law verdict in New York in 2012 and 2014. We have attorneys who speak Spanish and Russian for your convenience.

Sexual Harassment

It is illegal for an employer to harass a job applicant or employee because of his or her sex. Harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, touching, groping, innuendoes, jokes, or gestures. There are two types of workplace sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Generally, quid pro quo harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority, such as a supervisor, conditions employment on accepting sexual misconduct or providing sexual favors. Hostile work environment harassment occurs when the harassment is so severe or so pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment or results in an adverse employment decision, and it can be committed by coworkers, clients, or customers in addition to authority figures.

Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination happens when a member of a protected class is treated differently from other workers. For example, when a black employee is passed over for promotion despite being the most qualified for the job, an employment attorney in New York may be able to help them bring a claim. Similarly, if a Muslim job applicant is not hired after an in-person interview because she is wearing a hijab, even though she was called the most promising applicant previously, this may be employment discrimination. There are several different protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law, including race, color, sex, religion, and national origin. The city law often provides the strongest and most expansive protections against employment discrimination.

Race Discrimination

Race discrimination occurs when a job applicant or employee is treated adversely due to his or her race. Discrimination can occur in connection with a failure to hire, a failure to promote, differential pay, termination, or harassment. It is closely related to color discrimination. Although many people assume that race discrimination involves treating employees differently, you may have a claim if seemingly neutral employment policies have a disparate impact on people of your race. Race discrimination is prohibited under Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law, as well as state laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination occurs when a person is treated adversely based on his or her gender. For example, if you are a woman who is terminated because you are a woman, this would be gender discrimination, and a New York employment attorney could help you hold your former employer accountable. There is some ambiguity under federal law regarding whether Title VII prohibits not only sex discrimination but also gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. However, the New York City Human Rights Law expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, in addition to gender discrimination.

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination occurs when someone with a disability is treated differently due to his or her disability. However, "disability" is defined slightly differently under federal, state, and city laws. Generally, if you have a disability, you have the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is any alteration to the workplace that allows a worker to perform essential job tasks.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently due to their age. Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), employees who are 40 years of age or older are protected against discrimination due to their age in matters involving hiring, promotion, termination, layoffs, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Moreover, the state law provides greater protection, since it prohibits age discrimination against someone who is at least 18. If you work for an employer that has at least four employees, you might be covered by it. Our employment lawyers can advise New York residents and people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey on which laws may form an appropriate basis for their claim.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Workplace pregnancy discrimination is illegal in workplaces covered by federal, state, or local laws. Generally, pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman differently because of pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions. Sometimes employers need to provide reasonable accommodations to help pregnant women perform their jobs. This law entitles you to request an accommodation based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, and the employer has an obligation to accommodate you regardless of whether other employees are accommodated.

Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination occurs if your employer makes an employment decision based on your religion, rather than your merit. It is prohibited under Title VII if your employer has at least 15 employees, and it is prohibited under New York State and New York City laws if your employer has at least four employees. Your employer is supposed to make reasonable accommodations for your religious practices or beliefs unless doing so would present an undue hardship. Our New York employment lawyers can explain the form that a reasonable accommodation might take, but it might involve a shift change, an alteration to dress policy to allow head coverings or jewelry, or alterations to grooming that would allow you to practice your religion at work.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Title VII, has stated that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, some federal courts have taken a different view. However, under the New York Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Act, sexual orientation is prohibited in workplaces in which an employer has at least four employees. Sexual orientation can include heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or asexuality, and discrimination may be actionable whether it is based on actual or perceived sexuality.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Employers that have at least 50 employees are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows employees who are eligible to take a job-protected 12-week leave during a 12-month period (without pay) for particular family and medical reasons. Their group health insurance coverage is supposed to be provided under the same terms and conditions as if they had not taken leave, and an employment lawyer in New York can help you make sure that your employer respects this right. Reasons that this leave may be taken include the birth of a child, caring for a newborn, caring for an adoptive child within a year of placement, caring for an employee's parent, child, or spouse with a serious health condition, the employee's own serious health condition if it disables them from performing essential job tasks, and qualifying exigencies based on a close family member being a covered military member on covered active duty.

Wage and Hour Violations

Employees who are denied minimum wage or the overtime to which they are entitled can bring a wage and hour claim against their employer. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay at least the federal minimum wage and time and a half in overtime wages for employees who work over 40 hours in a week. For example, the New York State minimum wage increased as of December 31, 2017. In New York City, the minimum wage is $12 an hour for employers with fewer than 11 employees and $13 an hour for those with 11 or more employees. The minimum wage in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties is $11 an hour. In the rest of the state, it is $10.40 an hour.

Wrongful Termination

You are considered at-will if you are an employee in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding states, which means that either your employer or you can terminate your employment relationship for no reason or any reason. However, the employer cannot terminate you if to do so would violate a contract, statute, or public policy. Grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit can include termination due to an employee filing a complaint about being sexually harassed or termination because of the employee's membership in a protected group.

Consult a Dedicated Employment Attorney in New York or Surrounding States

If you are subjected to discrimination, harassment, or other forms of mistreatment in a New York City workplace, the Arcé Law Group may be able to help you. Our lawyers represent employees in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. We have offices in New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia. Contact us at 212-248-0120 or via our online form for an appointment.

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