Employment discrimination happens more than many of us realize and can come in many forms. Some of the most common types of workplace discrimination include discrimination based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or disability. As with any type of discrimination, workplace discrimination can be subtle and difficult to recognize at first. In other cases, the discrimination may be open and obvious.
Fighting for the Rights of New York Employees
If you feel you have been the victim of employment discrimination in New Paltz, New York, or the surrounding area, you need an experienced attorney. An experienced employment discrimination attorney can help you understand whether you have a valid discrimination claim and the value of your claim. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys to learn more about how we can fight for your rights.
Who is Protected by Anti-Discrimination Laws?
When an employee treats a job applicant or an employee differently due to their race, sex, religion, color, age, disability, or membership in another protected class, it is considered employment discrimination. Multiple federal laws protect employees from workplace discrimination, including the following:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their membership in a protected class. When employees take adverse action against an employee based on their membership in one of the following protective classes, the employee can pursue back pay, front pay, attorneys’ fees and costs, and compensation for their pain and suffering:
- Age (40 and older)
- Citizenship status
- Genetic information
- Disability (physical or mental)
- National origin
- Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
What Constitutes Workplace Discrimination?
If your employer has taken adverse action against an employee for mistreatment because of the following characteristics, you may be entitled to compensation. Discrimination can involve an employer taking an adverse action when making decisions relating to the following:
- Wage and hour issues
- Promotion and demotions
- Job assignments
- Employment development or training opportunities
- Workplace environment
- Other working conditions
Protecting Against Workplace Discrimination Under New York Law
In addition to federal protections, New York residents may have greater protection under the New York State Human Rights Law. The NYSHRL protects against employment discrimination based on:
- Genetic characteristics
- Age (18 and older)
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Familial status (pregnancy, caring for a child under 18, seeking to adopt a child under 18
- Lawful recreational activities when away from the workplace
- Perceived gender identity
- Creed (belief system)
- Marital or military status
- Observance of Sabbath
- Political activities
- Status as a victim of domestic violence
- Prior convictions with few exceptions
- Prior arrest record
- Use of a service dog
As you can see, New York anti-discrimination laws include many more categories of protected classes. The New York City Human Rights Law also provides employees with additional protection. If your case is covered under New York City or New York state laws, you can file your claim through the New York state division of Human Rights or the New York City Human Rights Commission. The federal agency is called the equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC).
Proving Workplace Discrimination
To prove a workplace discrimination claim, you must show that your employer treated you differently because of your membership in a protected class than your employer treated other employees who are not in a protected class.
For example, suppose you are making an antidiscrimination claim based on age discrimination. In that case, you will need to show that your employer laid off a group of employees over the age of 40 and hired replacements under 30 and is willing to work for a lower salary. Unfortunately, proving discrimination is not always easy. Many employers know that discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and they may try to make their discriminatory actions more discrete and less obvious.
When you work with HKM Employment Attorneys, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly investigate your case and find evidence showing that your employer engaged in unlawful discrimination. Some of the types of evidence that can help prove discrimination cases include the following:
- Text messages or social media posts from your coworkers or employer that contain discriminatory language or show bias
- Emails or other written communications from your employer that contain discriminatory language or show bias
- Written statements from witnesses or coworkers or anyone else who witnessed the discrimination that occurred
- Any additional photo or video evidence of discrimination
Damages Available in Discrimination Lawsuits
The employment discrimination attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys will fight vigorously to obtain the most compensation possible for our clients. If you have experienced discrimination, you may be entitled to damages and restitution, including the following:
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Non-economic damages
Unlike federal law, compensatory damages are not capped in employment discrimination cases under New York law. Additionally, you may be reimbursed for attorney’s fees and costs. When an employer deliberately discriminates against you, you may also be entitled to additional punitive damages.
However, there are limits on how much compensation you can obtain when pursuing a claim under federal law. The maximum amount of damages is based on the size of the business. You may receive up to $50,000 in damages if you work for a company with 15 to 100 employees. If you have 500 employees, your compensation may increase to $300,000.
Discuss Your Case With a New Paltz, New York, Employment Attorney
If you feel your employer has discriminated against you, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a skilled employment attorney. HKM Employment Attorneys have the experience, resources, and skills necessary to help you understand your rights and legal options. We have decades of experience winning employment claims just like yours.
Discrimination in the workplace can be challenging to prove, but our knowledgeable attorneys can help you build a strong case. We will work diligently with you to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation.