Every employee has the right to enjoy a discrimination-free workplace. Sadly, however, this is not always a reality in many employment environments, and Westchester County discrimination lawyers are available to help you if you are facing an adverse employment situation you believe is based on a discriminatory motive. New York laws – which are based upon the federal anti-discrimination statutes – are highly-specific about the nature of an appropriate employee/employer relationship and provide employees with comprehensive legal recourse in the event discrimination occurs.
Finer points of New York’s anti-discrimination laws
In general, a successful discrimination lawsuit must prove two general elements. First, the employee-plaintiff must be a member of a “protected class” as defined by federal and state law. Second, the employee must have endured an “adverse” action relating to his or her job – which is not strictly defined and is heavily fact-driven. Once these elements are successfully met, an employee may be able to regain his or her job position, obtain back pay, or receive an award of damages for financial injuries suffered as a result of the workplace misconduct.
The first prong of the workplace discrimination analysis requires a showing that the plaintiff was discriminated against based upon his or her membership in a protected class. New York has defined its protected classes to include:
- National origin
- Pregnancy & childbirth, and related medical conditions
- Physical or mental disability (actual or perceived)
- Age (18 and older)
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation (actual or perceived)
- Use of products or engagement in lawful recreational activities outside the workplace
- Military status
- Observance of Sabbath
- Political affiliation
- Use of service animal
- Status as a domestic violence victim
From there, Westchester County discrimination lawyers will review the details of your discrimination claim to determine if your experience involved an adverse employment decision as defined by New York case law. Whether an employment action is considered “adverse” will depend upon the facts of the case and the nature of the job. Termination or demotion is almost always considered an adverse employment action, as is refusal of benefits or prohibiting an employee from attending training sessions available to similar employees. Other scenarios giving rise to a finding of discrimination include refusing a lateral transfer, significantly diminished change in responsibilities, or any other material change impacting a worker’s employment status.
Contact Assertive and Competent Discrimination Lawyers Today
If you recently experience a negative change in your employment experience and believe it was based on a discriminatory motive, we encourage you to contact our Westchester County discrimination lawyers at Lynch Schwab right away. Your consultation will be completely confidential, and we will strive to help you better understand the anti-discrimination laws in New York as applied to your case. To set up an appointment, please call (914) 304-4353 right away.