Although in New York we all work in an "employment at will" state, meaning that you can be fired at any time for any reason, there are some reasons upon which an employer may not rely. An employee cannot be terminated, suspended, demoted, or paid less as a result of race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, marital status, military status, union membership or affiliation, past criminal record, predisposing genetic characteristics, or reports of unsafe working conditions.
Similarly, an employer may not "harass" an employee based upon any of the characteristics listed above, and may not force the employee to work in a hostile working environment based upon those characteristics. Clearly, you cannot be terminated because you refuse to go out on a date with the boss, but what many people do not realize is that harassment can take many other forms, even down to something as simple as lewd or dirty jokes being passed around the office which offend you.
If your employer has engaged in any of the activity described above, they may have committed violations of Federal, State and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), New York State Human Rights Law, New York City Human Rights Law, and, possibly, the United States Constitution.
We have extensive experience representing employees with respect to many different types of legal actions, including lawsuits in federal or state court, administrative complaints to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), New York State Division of Human Rights, or local human rights offices, and mediation and arbitration matters. If you believe you are being discriminated against, or harassed by your employer, please contact us today.
If you have any question concerning the services we can provide or the areas of law in which we practice, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are committed to finding the best solutions for you in the most efficient and effective way possible.