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Aug 7, 2018

New York State Employment Discrimination – NYSDHR Lawyers

Employment discrimination is a crime in New York State and employee rights are protected under local, state, and federal regulations.

Employment Discrimination Laws in New York State

It is illegal in New York State (and throughout the US) to discriminate against an employee on the basis of certain “protected” characteristics. These include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (including conditions such as pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Color
  • Disability (either physical or mental)
  • Age
  • Genetic information
  • Citizenship status (if you are legally allowed to work in the US)

New York State law takes this even further, making it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees (or potential employees) on the basis of:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Stalking (e.g. you are a victim of stalking)
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation (whether you have stated your orientation or you have a perceived orientation)
  • Family or marital status
  • Prior criminal records
  • Previous or current military service
  • Use of service dogs or other assistance animals

A company in New York State that employs 15 people or more must abide by federal employment discrimination laws, while a business employing four or more people must abide by New York State law.

In New York City itself, employers are also not allowed to discriminate against an employee on the basis of their credit history. As an employee, or someone who is hoping to become employed at a specific place of work, this is why it’s so important for you to be aware of the regulations that are applicable to your area.

Examples of Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination laws don’t just apply to people currently in work; they also extend to job interviews and labor disputes. An employer cannot, under state law, discriminate against a potential employee on the basis of the protected classes listed above. For example, they could not ask a woman they are interviewing as to when she intends to have children, then turn her down for the role on the basis that she may take maternity leave at some point.

Examples of unlawful employment discrimination on the basis of perceived sexuality or gender identity include harassing an employee for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, or denying a potential employee a role because they identify as gay (or the employer perceives them to be gay).

Examples of race discrimination include paying an employee of one race less for doing the same work than employees of other races, using racial slurs against an employee in the workplace, and refusal to hire a person of a specific race who is otherwise qualified for the role.

Examples of employment discrimination based on an employee’s national origin include harassing an employee for their accent, forbidding them from wearing national dress (when it is not a burden on the employer and does not cause safety issues) and not hiring a potential employee based on their perceived national origin.

Age discrimination can include laying off employees over 40, forcing employees into early retirement when they wish to continue working, promoting younger employees over older employees when they lack the experience for the role, and not hiring a potential employee on the basis of their age, even if they are otherwise qualified for the job.

In all of these examples, it is important to note that the law applies both to stated protected classes, as well as perceived protected classes. For example an employer cannot discriminate against an employee simply because they think they might be gay, or Muslim, or transgendered. In these instances, the employer could still face legal action.

Speak to a New York State Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today

If you think that you’ve been discriminated against at work, contact our law offices today to schedule a consultation. We’ll listen to the facts of your case and advise you on how to move forward, and can offer legal representation if there is enough evidence to bring a case against your employer. You have more legal protections than you might think – that’s why it’s so important to get access to legal counsel if you think that you have been unlawfully discriminated against at work.

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Manhattan

85 Broad Street, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10005

Phone

888-977-6335

Queens

35-37 36th St,
Astoria, NY 11106

Phone

888-977-6335

Brooklyn

195 Montague St.
14th Floor,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone

888-977-6335