Lawyers Fight to Recover Damages for Victims of Workplace Gender Discrimination in New York
Gender discrimination attorneys in New York, representing victims in the New York City area and Long Island, see the emotional toll that results from discriminatory behavior in the workplace. Discrimination that occurs in the context of employment deprives people of their rights to work in a safe environment and receive equal treatment, essentially, depriving them of the ability to earn a living. Sex discrimination also called gender discrimination can be especially detrimental. It affects people personally and professionally contributing to financial and psychological problems that can take years to overcome. The legal professionals at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. see why laws are in place prohibiting employment discrimination.
In 1964, the United States Congress signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Title VII of the Act (Title VII) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals who fall into one or more protected categories. It was designed to make it harder for employers to prevent certain groups of people from securing employment or succeeding at work. Title VII applies to employers with at least 15 employees and prohibits businesses from making hiring, firing, compensation or other employment decisions based characteristics such as race and sex. New York has comparable legislation called New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL).
Despite the existence of laws like Title VII, sex discrimination in employment happens with great frequency as evidenced by the high number of charges employees file. Each year thousands of employees, men, and women, file complaints alleging sex discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is the agency that oversees the enforcement of Title VII. The agency reviews and investigates the allegations and may if it chooses, file a lawsuit against the employer. The EEOC usually gives the victim a right to sue notice which allows them to file a lawsuit against their employer in US Federal Court. New York has a comparable agency called the New York State Human Rights Commission (NYSHRC).
You do not have to deal with employment discrimination alone. If you are the victim of discrimination based on your gender, or sexual harassment, the attorneys at Leeds Brown can help you move forward. Our experienced advocates can help formulate your EEOC charge, support your case, negotiate a settlement with your employer or represent you in court. We work tirelessly to secure the best outcomes for our clients. Our attorneys understand the changing nature of our laws and help protect the rights of transgender employees as well.
The emotional and financial toll that sex discrimination causes can be tremendous, especially if you face wrongful termination or retaliation. You may lose your job, well-deserved benefits or a raise as a result of discrimination. You may have physical or emotional injuries that need treatment. The employment discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown have the resources, experience, dedication, and compassion to guide you through this hard time and obtain a positive result. We can help you recover monetary damages from the party responsible for gender discrimination.
In the New York Area, Gender Discrimination Hurts Employees
Sex discrimination occurs in various ways. You may be the victim of gender discrimination when your employer makes an employment decision based on your gender, a gender-related condition or assumptions about your gender. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of gender discrimination that Title VII also prohibits.
Let’s look at one situation where it appears an employee may be the victim of unlawful gender discrimination:
A female with a CPA certification has been employed by same New York business for 12. For all of her years, she has been one of 10 staff accountants. The department has one supervising accountant that oversees the other 10. Her yearly reviews have been positive, and she rarely takes a day off, although she did take a 5-day vacation when she got married. When the supervisor announces he is moving to a new company, she promptly applies for the job. Her employer hires one of the other staff accountants, a man with no CPA certification and who has only two years of accounting experience. When she confronts her employer about the decision, the employer states that since she is probably trying to get pregnant, they assumed she would not want to take on more responsibility at the office when a baby comes.
- Although the woman above was not pregnant, it may be argued that the decision not to give her the position was based on her gender and the assumption that she would want to get pregnant and not work as hard after becoming a parent. This decision is likely gender discrimination under Title VII.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an amendment to Title VII that makes it unlawful to make an employment decision, including hiring and promotions, based on pregnancy. If the woman in the above scenario was pregnant, clearly the employer is in violation of the PDA.
- Under NYHRL, an employer may not discriminate against a person who is or intends to become pregnant, so this would protect her as well.
After acquiring vast work experience, training, and education to have your employer make assumptions about your life and career aspirations based on your gender. Especially when the assumptions lead to a decision that negatively impacts your employment opportunities. If you are not receiving equal treatment based on your sex, consider speaking with gender discrimination lawyers about whether or not you can file a claim against your employer with the appropriate New York State or Federal agency.
Let’s look at another one:
The Vice President (VP) of a large business asks his new executive assistant (EA) to come into his office to “discuss some details about the job.” The employee obliges and the VP closes the door and suggests the meeting take place on the couch instead of at his desk. The VP leans close and asks the EA to please go home and get dressed up to go with him to a hotel for a “quiet dinner” to “get to know each other better.” When the EA says no repeatedly, the VP shouts “I guess this job is not important to you. I thought you knew what the job required.” The next day the EA gets a notice of reassignment to a less lucrative position in a different department.
- This situation appears to be a clear case of “quid pro quo” sexual harassment which is unlawful sex discrimination. Quid pro quo sex harassment is when a supervisor makes an unwelcome sexual advance on a subordinate employee and conditions some aspect of the victim’s employment on performance fulfillment of the sexual advance. The sexual advance does not have to be blatant; it can be subtle and involve innuendo.
- The EA in this scenario can be a man or a woman. People tend to forget that Title VII protects men’s rights as well as women’s. Under Title VII sex discrimination can occur between individuals of different or the same genders.
Every day an employee gets to work and finds notes, flowers, and candy from a co-worker professing his love. Despite repeated requests to stop because the employee is not interested and is involved with someone else, he remains persistent. The other office workers think the entire situation is funny and encourage him to keep trying, calling the employee a prude and a cold-fish. The employee reports this all to the manager, and the behavior continues. The love-notes are left with more frequency and include desperate and threatening language which causes the employee to have trouble concentrating on the job. The employee seeks help again from the supervisor who fires the employee for not being a team player under the circumstances.
- This employee seems to be experiencing unlawful gender discrimination in the form of sexual harassment. The co-workers and the love-sick employee have created a hostile environment for the victim. The persistent nature of the notes, refusal to take no for an answer, the threatening tone, the encouragement of the office workers, all contribute to the hostile work environment. Also, employers have a duty to try and stop sex harassment in the workplace. This supervisor clearly did nothing to help.
- Title VII additionally prohibits retaliation for complaining about or reporting sexual harassment. The supervisor above fired the employee after two reports about behavior in the workplace which were attempts to protect herself from the hostile environment. The supervisor’s comments were evidence of the retaliation.
If you have experienced gender discrimination or sexual harassment at your job in New York or surrounding areas, consider speaking with employment lawyers at Leeds Brown who don’t underestimate the impact it can have on victims. You may be losing sleep wondering what to do. Are you afraid to complain about the treatment you are receiving? What if you lose your job or no one believes you? These are valid concerns that you don’t have to face alone.
We can help you through this difficult time and provide you with compassionate counsel and direction. Tell us about workplace discrimination claim and find out what your options are. We have a thorough understanding of all laws that apply to the workplace including the Women’s Equality Act, the Equal Pay Act, Title VII and more. Leeds Brown has attorneys who can assist you to file a charge with the appropriate state or federal agency, help you to negotiate a fair settlement or represent you in a court of law. Depending on your particular gender discrimination case, attorneys at Leeds Brown can seek to obtain reinstatement to your job, back pay, a raise, and money for emotional distress.
Contact our office today to find out how we can help you file a discrimination claim. Call 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation from sex discrimination attorneys providing high-quality representation for employees in the New York area. Leeds Brown is a full-service employment law firm that handles cases including gender discrimination, pay equality, sex harassment, unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and retaliation.