Discrimination Lawyer in New York City and Long Island
Workplace discrimination can lead to a hostile work environment that adversely affects your work performance and puts you under significant stress. Based on various federal and state laws, workplace discrimination is illegal.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act along with the New York State Human Rights Law, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and a number of other laws offer protection and legal recourse for discrimination victims.
Discrimination during a job interview or the hiring process is also illegal.
What are protected classes?
Protected classes are groups that are protected under discrimination laws, whether federal, state or local.
In all 50 states the following are protected classes:
- Race. Race discrimination is based on the individual’s race. Race has physical characteristics associated with it such as skin color, facial features and hair texture. In addition to physical characteristics, race has cultural practices that are also associated with the race. The EEOC recognizes Hispanic, Asian and African American as distinct races.
- Color. Color discrimination is based on the pigmentation in the person’s skin. It may be associated with race but not necessarily. The determining factor is whether the person is light skinned or dark skinned or has skin of a different color.
- National origin. National origin discrimination refers to discrimination based on the country and culture where an individual or the individual’s ancestors are from, which includes the linguistic characteristics of the group.
- Religion. Religious discrimination is based on the religion or creed an individual adheres to, including traditional religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism or Islam. However, it can also be based on the individual’s religious, moral or ethical beliefs. Refusing to hire someone because the person is an atheist would also be religious discrimination.
- Sex. Sexual discrimination can be based on gender but it can also be based on pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.
- Disability. Under the ADA, employers with a certain number of employees must provide physically or mentally disabled workers reasonable accommodations upon request unless it would result in significant difficulty or undue hardship for the employer.
- Age. Age discrimination under the ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against anyone who is 40 years or older based on their age.
- Citizenship status. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) prohibits citizenship status discrimination. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate when hiring or firing employees based on the employee not being a citizen or permanent resident. Employers may not refuse to accept lawful documentation that establishes employment eligibility.
- Genetic information. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers from using genetic information as a basis for employment. Genetic information includes the request for information from medical tests or from a person’s family medical history.
- Military status.Under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their military status or obligations.
In addition to the protected classes listed above, New York State laws also protect employees based on the following:
- Marital status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Observance of Sabbath
- Political activities
- Use of a service dog
- Prior arrests or criminal accusation
- Domestic violence victim status
- Prior criminal convictions (unless certain requirements have been met)
- Lawful use of any product or lawful recreational activities when not at work
In New York City it is illegal to discriminate based on credit history.
Our Practice Areas
Has Your Employer Discriminated Against You?
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you or you believe discrimination occurred during the hiring process, arrange for a free initial consultation. We can discuss your concerns and explain your rights to take legal action.
Call (631) 923-1314 or contact us online today.