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Discrimination in the Workplace

Legal content fact checked by Charles E. Joseph

Protect Your Rights with a New York Discrimination Lawyer

Discrimination in the workplace violates your rights. Employment discrimination is illegal, whether it targets your race, gender, national origin, age, disability status, or another protected status.

Workplace discrimination laws also protect you from wrongful termination, retaliation, or a hostile work environment

New York City offers some of the strongest workplace discrimination protections in the country. But what counts as workplace discrimination? What are the protected classes? And how can the law protect your rights?

Our guide walks through your rights under workplace discrimination laws and how to prove discrimination at work.

Contact New York discrimination lawyer Charles Joseph for a free consultation to protect your rights. Charles Joseph’s firm has recovered more than $140 million for clients. Reach out today for a free, confidential consultation.

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Know Your Rights

Workplace discrimination is a serious offense. Discrimination at work can happen during the hiring process if a company refuses to hire a potential employee because they are a member of a protected class. It can also take place after being hired.

Discrimination may keep an employee from getting a promotion or result in wrongful termination. Employees who complain about discrimination may also face illegal retaliation.

Everyone deserves a workplace free from discrimination.

Federal, state, and local laws protect employees from discrimination at work, and an employment discrimination attorney can also help protect your rights.

What is Workplace Discrimination?

Workplace discrimination means treating a job applicant or employee less favorably because of their race, gender, religion, age, disability status, or other protected characteristics.

Discriminating against someone because they belong to a protected class violates the law.

Workplace discrimination laws also protect employees from hostile work environments. Offensive conduct or comments that attack a protected group violate employees’ rights.

Employers have a responsibility to provide an environment free from workplace harassment.

Targeting protected groups in the workplace violates federal, state, and New York City laws. Employment discrimination lawyers can recover damages for victims of hostile work environments. 

What are the Protected Classes?

Workplace discrimination laws protect specific groups of people. Federal laws protect employees from discrimination based on their race, gender, religion, disability status, national origin, and age.

New York State and New York City provide additional protections, including for marital status, familial status, and military status.

Read more about discrimination protections for the following protected groups:

Employment discrimination lawyers can recover damages for victims of discrimination in the workplace.

Contact New York discrimination lawyer Charles Joseph for a free consultation to learn about your legal protections.  

New York Workplace Discrimination Laws

In New York, workplace discrimination laws provide broader protections than under federal law.

For example, New York City law covers age discrimination against employees of any age. Federal law, by contrast, only covers employees who are 40 years old or older. New York City employees can sue for age discrimination if they did not receive a promotion because they looked “too young,” for instance.

New York’s workplace discrimination laws provide additional protections based on caregiver status, marital status, gender identity, and more. A New York discrimination lawyer can determine whether you have a case.

Discrimination and Hostile Work Environments

Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their membership in a protected class. These laws also ban hostile work environments.

Supervisors or co-workers can create a hostile work environment by targeting a protected class through their actions or behaviors. This qualifies as a form of discrimination when it affects employees’ ability to complete their work.

Employers may be liable for hostile work environments if they do not stop the offensive conduct or if they reasonably should have known about the hostile environment.

Employees do not have to be a member of the targeted group to file a hostile work environment lawsuit. If discriminatory conduct makes it hard to do your job, you may have a claim.

Reach out to New York discrimination lawyer Charles Joseph for a free consultation if you experience a hostile work environment.

Workplace Discrimination and Retaliation

Workplace discrimination laws also protect employees who speak up about discrimination.

If you file a complaint about discriminatory conduct, participate in a workplace discrimination investigation, or testify in a discrimination suit, these laws offer protections. The law considers these protected activities.

Employers cannot retaliate against employees who engage in protected activities. For example, your employer cannot fire you for complaining about discrimination in the workplace. The company cannot demote you, cut your pay, or otherwise penalize you for participating in a discrimination lawsuit.

Workplace retaliation laws also protect employees who complain about sexual harassment or hostile work environments.

Employment discrimination lawyers play an important role in protecting victims of retaliation. An employment discrimination attorney can help recover back pay, emotional distress damages, and more.

How to Prove Discrimination in the Workplace

Millions of employees face discrimination in the workplace every year. Fortunately, laws and employment discrimination lawyers help protect victims of workplace discrimination.

If you experience discrimination in the workplace, keep detailed records. Keep emails, pictures, or statements about the offensive behavior. Write down the time and location of any workplace harassment, plus the names of all witnesses.

Make any reports to your boss or human resources in writing, so that you have a copy. Also, make notes about whatever actions your company takes in response to your complaint. Keep these records at home, not at work.

Once you know how to prove discrimination in the workplace, your employment discrimination attorney can help file a lawsuit.

During a workplace discrimination lawsuit, these documents help prove your case. An employment discrimination attorney can help you prove discrimination in the workplace and recover lost wages, damages to compensate for your emotional distress, and punitive damages.

Filing a Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit

Victims of workplace discrimination have rights. You can file a lawsuit against your employer, former employer, or potential employer. 

During a discrimination lawsuit, you can receive compensatory damages, punitive damages, back pay, front pay, and attorney’s fees. Victims of discrimination can also receive emotional distress damages.

Employment discrimination damages

NYC employment lawyers can help you gather evidence, file a lawsuit, and protect your rights. Charles Joseph offers free, confidential consultations to discuss your discrimination case.

You can also learn how to file a discrimination claim in New York or find answers to other workplace discrimination questions in our FAQ section.

Contact New York discrimination lawyer Charles Joseph for a free consultation to learn about your legal protections.  

Workplace Discrimination FAQs

Workers' Rights FAQ

Legal content fact checked by Charles E. Joseph

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