Gender Discrimination

New York and New Jersey Lawyer Experienced in Employment Claims

Federal, state, and city laws make gender discrimination and sexual harassment illegal in New York and New Jersey. In spite of these laws, employers often continue to act in a discriminatory manner, sometimes using a facially neutral policy. Discrimination may occur in connection to hiring, job tasks, promotions, pay, or firing. When an employer makes decisions based on stereotypes about gender roles or preconceived notions about each gender's abilities, it is engaging in gender discrimination. An employee may be able to recover damages under either federal or state laws. The Polat Law Group provides aggressive legal representation to workers who are subject to gender discrimination and need a New York City gender discrimination lawyer who can assist them through the legal process.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is prohibited by Title VII, the New York Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. These laws have some differences, but all were advanced with the intent of reducing gender discrimination in the workplace.

Discrimination is prohibited with regard to all of the aspects of employment. For example, an employer may not fail to promote someone because she is a woman. Similarly, an employer is forbidden from considering someone's transgender identity when deciding whether to hire them. One form of gender discrimination is sexual harassment.

Even workplace policies that seem neutral on their face may be found to discriminate on the basis of gender if they disproportionately affect one gender. Disparate impact lawsuits require employers to show that they have a job-related reason for creating a job requirement that has a disproportionate effect on a gender.

Title VII only applies to bigger companies, those with 15 or more employees. It also requires that an aggrieved employee file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before filing a civil lawsuit for damages. Guidance and case law establish that gender orientation and gender identity are covered under the umbrella of sex or gender discrimination. There is no explicit protection for these classes under federal law.

The EEOC must issue an aggrieved employee a notice of right to sue letter before they file in court. If they successfully establish their case, damages are capped in a Title VII lawsuit. The cap is based on the size of the employer. For example, if an employer has 101-200 employees, the limit to what the plaintiff may recover is $100,000, whereas if the employer has over 500 employees, the limit is $300,000.

In many instances, bringing a lawsuit under state law provides a better remedy than filing under federal law. A gender discrimination attorney can advise New York and New Jersey employees on which law may be most friendly to their claim. New York and New Jersey laws cover employers with four or more employees, except with regard to sexual harassment. Even employers with only one employee in New York City and New Jersey are covered by the prohibition against sexual harassment.

Damages are not capped in state court. In general, victims of gender discrimination may suffer emotional injuries as well as tangible pay-related injuries, such as lost benefits, front pay, and back pay. A plaintiff may recover compensatory damages for gender discrimination.

Although punitive damages are also available under both Title VII and the New York City Human Rights Law, they are rarely awarded. These damages are not available under the New York Human Rights Law. An employer's actions need to be particularly bad to warrant the imposition of punitive damages.

Courts may provide injunctive relief under any of these laws. Injunctive relief simply means that an employer will need to take a step to fix the discrimination. In addition to awarding monetary damages, for example, the court might order an employer to promote an employee to the position that they were improperly denied for discriminatory reasons.

Seek Representation from a New York City Lawyer for a Gender Discrimination Claim

Both employers and employees need knowledgeable legal representation when engaged in employment litigation. An experienced New York City gender discrimination attorney can make sure that your rights are protected. The Polat Law Group provides guidance and aggressive legal representation to employees in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Contact us at (212) 480-4500 or via our online form to set up an appointment with a sexual harassment lawyer or seek guidance with another type of gender discrimination claim.