Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
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Statistical research has clearly shown that sexual harassment is widespread in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Of all Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims, more than one-third (37%) are claims submitted by restaurant workers. Certainly, one of the factors fueling that number is the financial insecurity many food service workers live with, but don’t let that stop you from speaking up if you’ve been harmed by sexual harassment. Instead, reach out to a knowledgeable New York City sexual harassment lawyer today and find out what legal steps you may be able to take.

M.W. was a food service worker who, according to his lawsuit, endured some very demeaning and terrible forms of sexual harassment during his time working at the Freedom Tower in Manhattan. The Brooklyn man alleged that the perpetrator of his sexual harassment was his supervisor.

Sexual harassment can occur in multiple forms, including unwelcome touching and inappropriate comments or jokes. M.W. allegedly endured both forms of harassment.

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Everyone in New York has the right to earn a living and to do their jobs without their workplace fates controlled by what they will or won’t do sexually for their bosses. If you’ve had your pay, your rank, your hours, your assignments, or your continued employment made conditional on the provision of something sexual, then that very possibly is illegal sexual harassment and you may be entitled to recover substantial compensation as a result. To find out the range of legal options that exist for you, reach out to a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer right away.

“Quid pro quo” sexual harassment, at its center, is rooted in power dynamics. One person, recognizing that he/she holds a position of great power and influence generally or, at least, greater power and influence than another worker, wields that influence (or threatens to use it) to extract sex from the less-powerful party. That less-powerful person perhaps acquiesces because they fear the economic ramifications of losing their job and/or being “blackballed” from getting another job. In other words, they acquiesce because they feel powerless.

The allegations made in a recent sexual harassment complaint from upstate make for a classic example of “quid pro quo” harassment. According to the alleged victim, who was a secretary for a trial court judge, the harassment began almost as soon as the judge took office, and went on for years.

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When you have experienced discrimination at work that has caused you real harm, you probably have a lot of questions and many deep concerns. You understand that your best chance of success is through retaining a knowledgeable New York employment discrimination lawyer but you worry, “How am I going to pay for all this?”

Fortunately for workers like you, there is good news from Albany. Earlier this month, Governor Hochul signed a bill that expands what you potentially can recover as part of an award in a successful workplace discrimination lawsuit. Under the law as it previously existed, you often couldn’t get an award that covered the cost of your attorney’s fees and the fees charged by your expert witnesses if yours was an employment discrimination action.

That all changed with the new bill that has been signed into law by the governor. Under the amended statute, an award of attorney’s fees and expert witness fees is potentially available in all types of discrimination cases, including workplace discrimination actions.

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Thomas Jefferson famously said that “all men are created equal.” As everyone knows, however, not all jobs are created equal, even those with the same title or rank at the same place of employment. A smaller or larger team beneath you and smaller or greater responsibilities can mean extremely important distinctions in prestige, and therefore differences in the overall benefits or advantages of one job versus another. If you’ve received a reassignment that your employer has couched as a “lateral move” that you recognize as really a demotion, and that reassignment happened because of your sex, race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, or other protected characteristic, get in touch with a New York employment discrimination lawyer without delay to discuss your options.

L.P. was one of those workers, according to her sex discrimination lawsuit. She had started with the NYPD in 1987 and, by 2018, had risen to the rank of three-star chief and served as the department’s Chief of Crime Control Strategies. In 2019, after the department’s Chief of Detectives was promoted to Commissioner, L.P. expressed an interest in the now-vacant Chief of Detectives role.

The woman did not eceive that appointment, however. (It went to a man.) L.P., instead, was appointed to the role of Chief of Collaborative Policing. Due to a departmental reorganization instituted by the new Commissioner, her new position involved reporting to a new civilian Deputy Commissioner over the Bureau of Community Partnerships.

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Each successful employment discrimination lawsuit outcome has certain things in common with all other successful case results. One of the most fundamental things all of these have in common is a well-written complaint that does a good job clearly conveying the facts and that plainly and correctly lays out the applicable law. Each of us has certain things that we’re good at based on professional expertise. If you’re not an attorney, chances are writing a well-pled civil complaint isn’t one of them. Given how critical this piece is to your overall success, it is well worth your while to have an experienced New York workplace discrimination lawyer on your side from the very start.

A “well-written complaint” does certain things highly effectively. One of those things is language that clearly sets out the required elements of your claim and how the facts you alleged meet each of those.

An age discrimination complaint filed by a New York City doctor is a good example of this, as evidenced by the doctor’s success in defeating his former employer’s request for a dismissal of the lawsuit.

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Workplaces are settings where people must find ways to work together if they are to achieve optimal success. Representing the flip side of this, many discrimination and harassment cases arise because of an unreasonable refusal to “work together” with an employee who had a disability. If you were that worker, you are entitled to take legal action and potentially recover substantial compensation for the harm you endured. Get in touch with an experienced New York disability discrimination lawyer today to find out more.

Some years ago, an employment attorney in another state opined that, in a lot of cases, employers find themselves facing discrimination or harassment litigation because of a failure to follow one simple rule: don’t be a schmuck. (The author didn’t say “schmuck,” but you get the point.) This is good advice that too often goes unheeded. Whether it is utterly unnecessary jokes about a worker’s race/sex/ethnicity/religion/etc. or excessive uncooperativeness toward an employee needing a disability accommodation, many cases come to exist because of entirely avoidable violations of the law.

Take, for example, the disability discrimination case of D.B., a stage manager for a major cable sports network. He had a medical condition, exacerbated by working in cold studios, that affected his skin. Indeed, the manager’s direct supervisor allegedly once asked him, in front of a sizable group of people, “What’s wrong with your skin?”

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Pregnancy discrimination is an illegal form of employment discrimination. That has been true under federal, state, and city law for decades. Nevertheless, the insidious problem of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination against breastfeeding moms, remains. Whether you’ve suffered harm on the job because of your pregnancy or because of post-partum issues (like breastfeeding or expressing breast milk,) you are entitled to take legal action and potentially entitled to recover substantial compensation. There is, however, only a limited time to act under the law, so don’t delay. Reach out and retain a knowledgeable New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyer right away.

One of the forms of discrimination that happens to a lot of pregnant or breastfeeding working mothers is inappropriate jokes or comments at the workplace. Take, for example, A.Z., an account manager for a children’s clothing manufacturer. In 2018, the manager informed her supervisors that she was pregnant. After a brief maternity leave, A.Z. returned to work in the spring of 2019.

Once A.Z. was back in the office, the comments started, according to her complaint. One of the company’s owners allegedly asked the manager for some breast milk for his coffee, requesting that she “just squirt it in there.” The other owner allegedly would yell things like “pump station” and “pumper” as he passed A.Z.’s lactation accommodation area. The owners additionally opined that their office was “turning into a regular dairy farm” and that A.Z. could “put a milk company out of business,” according to the lawsuit.

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On the job, you may have experienced something that was blatantly inappropriate, unacceptable, and wrong, but you may not instantaneously have spoken out. Even if you didn’t, and even if others thought you were “OK” with it, that doesn’t make it OK and doesn’t mean that you cannot use that improper conduct as the foundation of a hostile work environment lawsuit. If it has happened to you at your workplace, reach out to a knowledgeable New York hostile work environment attorney to discuss your legal options.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone did or said something you found highly personally offensive? (We’re confident almost all readers are nodding “yes” right now.) Many of us may say or do nothing. “Unfriending” that guy you graduated high school with — the one who keeps posting memes mocking your ethnicity or your sexual orientation or your religion — would cost you little, but you fear the possible repercussions anyway. You somehow feel an innate urge not to “rock the boat.”

Now, imagine you were subjected to those offensive comments, not on Facebook, but at work. Repeatedly. You know the behavior is wrong and is hurtful to you. But you also know you need that job, and you fear the consequences if you speak out. Would you object, or would you gently smile and laugh (and hope it stops soon)? Whether you are the objecting kind or the laughing type, you may still potentially have experienced an actionable hostile work environment.

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Back in 2007, radio host Don Imus got fired after he referred to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, the majority of whom were Black, as “nappy-headed hos”. That incident may have been particularly infamous, but the thousands of women of color working in New York City know that such attitudes are not uncommon. Many women of color face insidious race and/or gender discrimination on the job. Oftentimes, though, it will be something less obvious than being publicly demeaned with vulgar language like Imus’s. While it may have been less obvious, that doesn’t necessarily make it any less damaging to you in your career. If it happens to you, you should take action. Get in touch with a knowledgeable New York City discrimination lawyer to discover what legal options may exist for you.

Take, for example, K.R., an Afro Latina woman of Dominican ancestry working at a Manhattan media strategy and “crisis management” firm.

According to K.R.’s discrimination lawsuit, which she filed last year, the firm’s owner criticized her demeanor on the phone as “angry.” The complaint stated that, by contrast, the woman accused exactly none of her white female workers of having an “angry” phone demeanor.

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Under federal law, you must prove that you suffered either “severe” or “pervasive” harassment to win a hostile work environment case. So, what happens if the harassment you endured was encapsulated in just one incident? Clearly, that’s not pervasive, but can it be severe? The answer is “yes, it can,” so don’t give up on your case just because you don’t have a long list of incidents of harassment. Instead, reach out to an experienced New York sexual harassment lawyer and find out what options exist for you.

The case of B.B., a clerical assistant with the New York Department of Sanitation, is a strong example of what a viable single-incident hostile work environment case looks like.

In 2014, the department reassigned B.B. to a garage in upper Manhattan. At the Manhattan garage, B.B. allegedly was the target of multiple sexually explicit comments about her body.

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