Discrimination may take a grave toll on society, adversely affecting qualified and diligent workers. When you apply for a job or stay in a job, you expect to be considered and judged based on merit, rather than your skin color, religion, national origin, sex, or race. Unfortunately, many employers make employment decisions based on bias. Federal and state anti-discrimination laws allow you to sue your employer for damages if you were subjected to workplace misconduct. Emre Polat is an aggressive New York City discrimination lawyer who can represent you.Discrimination in New York and New Jersey
Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under numerous federal laws, as well as the New York Human Rights Law and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. One of the primary federal anti-discrimination laws is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Discrimination includes any action that adversely affects employment, including hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions and demotions, pay, training, and any other benefit of employment.
Although direct discrimination by an employer may not always be easily proved, the federal and state anti-discrimination laws allow employees to rely on disparate impact discrimination, which allows the employee to prove discrimination where in some cases, an employer's discrimination is not overt. A policy or practice may seem neutral at first glance but have a disparate impact on workers of a particular group. For example, a rule about head coverings might have a disparate impact on certain employees who wear such a garment as part of their religious belief. It may be possible to file a discrimination lawsuit on the basis of disparate impact.
In disparate impact cases, the initial burden is on the employee to show that an otherwise neutral policy or practice has a disproportionate negative effect on members of a protected category. Both objective and subjective criteria may be the subject of the claim. It then falls to the employer to challenge the evidence presented by the employee or show that the practice or policy is job-related and in line with its business needs. When an employer is able to show the business necessity defense, the burden shifts back to the employee to show that the employer could have adopted a different practice or policy that would have had a less discriminatory impact. A discrimination attorney in New York City can help you navigate each step of this process.
Most federal anti-discrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and you must file a charge with the EEOC and get a notice of the right to sue before you bring a lawsuit for damages in civil court. There are caps on damages that arise out of a violation of the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC.
New York and New Jersey, however, have each enacted a broader and stronger workplace anti-discrimination laws that provide greater protection to employees in many situations than does federal law. There are no caps on the damages that may be recovered for violations, and these laws apply to smaller employers. They also offer protection for a broader range of groups. For example, the New York Human Rights Law protects employees on the basis of age, citizenship, color, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, partnership status, national origin, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, arrest or conviction record, credit history, unemployment status, caregiver, and status as a victim of domestic violence. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination provides protection to another broad range of groups.Discuss Your Claim with a Discrimination Lawyer in New York City
If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination, you should seek vigorous representation. If you file a charge or lawsuit, an attorney most likely will represent your employer. You should ensure that your rights are protected by retaining a knowledgeable New York City discrimination attorney of your own. Emre Polat is known as an aggressive advocate for employees in both New York and New Jersey, and his previous experiences handling employment matters for both employees and an employment defense firm gives him the unique insights in how to counter an employer’s strategies. He represents employees in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Call us at (212) 480-4500 or use our online form to set up your appointment. Emre Polat also can assist you if you are seeking a sexual harassment lawyer or guidance in another type of employment claim.