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In nearly any civil lawsuit, one of the most important hurdles you, as a plaintiff, have to clear is the defense’s motion for summary judgment. If the defense wins, your case gets tossed before even making it to trial. If the defense loses, you may proceed, and you may also discover that the terms of settlement offers proposed by the defense are much fairer than they were before your victory on the summary judgment motion. Wherever you are in the process of pursuing your discrimination case – trial, dispositive pre-trial motions, or just getting started – it pays to have powerful and reliable legal representation from an experienced New York discrimination lawyer.

Here in New York City, workers harmed by discrimination have the advantage of multiple options. They may be able to bring claims under the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, or both.

A recent age discrimination case involving a Brooklyn doctor gives a good view of how the process works, how you can use these laws to your benefit, and what it takes to defeat a defense motion for summary judgment.

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If you’re trying to work through your pregnancy, you’ve undoubtedly made a thoughtful decision that continuing to work is the best way to provide for your family. Being fired because of your pregnancy can inflict a great deal of stress, frustration, and financial insecurity on you during what is an already highly stressful (albeit exciting) time in your life. While employers have considerable discretion in who they hire and fire, they cannot fire you just because you’re pregnant. If that’s happened to you, you may have the makings of a successful New York pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

So, what exactly does pregnancy discrimination in New York look like? Here’s a real-life example from upstate. The worker, A.G., was “visibly pregnant” when she interviewed for a waitress job with a Mexican restaurant. The manager who interviewed her knew she was pregnant and the restaurant owner, A.R., also knew she was pregnant.

The restaurant hired the woman and she typically worked around 17 hours per week. However, just a few weeks into the job, the waitress came down with bronchitis and missed five days of work. When she returned to work, the owner had assigned someone else to her shift.

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If you are familiar with federal discrimination law, then you likely know that age discrimination, like sex discrimination, race discrimination, disability discrimination, religious discrimination, and sexual orientation discrimination (among others) is prohibited. If an employer has fired you, demoted you, refused to hire you, or taken other adverse employment actions against you because you are older then, with the aid of a knowledgeable New York age discrimination lawyer, you can sue and win in court.

What you may not know, however, is that it is harder to win a federal age discrimination case than it is to win other types of federal employment discrimination cases. A bill that just passed the House of Representatives would change that and make the barrier against establishing a case of federal age discrimination the same as that for all other forms of federal workplace discrimination.

Age discrimination has been a violation of federal law since 1967 when Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). At that time, the degree of protection older workers received under the federal law was equal to the protection other groups (such as racial minorities and religious groups) received.

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Chances are, by now, you’re well-versed in the positives of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. From health benefits to social conveniences, many advantages come with being vaccinated… including, sometimes, benefits at work. Your employer may, at the employer’s discretion, hand out incentives to its employees who get a COVID-19 vaccine. One thing that is not optional for employers, however, is giving employees the paid time off they need to deal with getting the shot(s) and also deal with the side effects that can sometimes arise after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As with any instance where you’ve been harmed by workplace discrimination or retaliation, be sure to contact a knowledgeable New York discrimination lawyer to get the answers you need to the questions you have.

Newsday recently took a look at both employer-mandated and employer-encouraged vaccinations. Generally, the law allows employers to incentivize or even require vaccinations (and terminate employees who don’t get the shot.)

That’s not true if a specific employee has a legitimate religion-based or disability-based reason for avoiding the vaccine. Even then, the employer may still be allowed to demand vaccination if accommodating the employee’s need to avoid the vaccine would impose an “undue hardship” on that specific employer.

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Back in March, this blog covered a new regulation from the New York City Commission on Human Rights. That final rule, which became effective at the end of January, regarded religious or race discrimination and an employee’s hair. Our blog post from March offered details about what kind of employer conduct is now prohibited under the new rule but, as any experienced New York discrimination lawyer can tell you, it’s not just about having a protective law or regulation on the books and proving that your employer took a negative action against you, it is also about being able to overcome the defenses that you reasonably can expect that your employer will throw at you. With that in mind, this post shall explore the nature of employer defenses against hair discrimination and how you can confront them.

One affirmative defense that the law makes available to employers is that the employer’s hair or head-covering rules were needed to address a “legitimate health or safety concern.” What’s worth knowing is that it’s not enough for your employer simply to raise the issue of health and/or safety. Instead, the employer must have a specific basis(es) for its purported health and/or safety concern, and that basis must be a legitimate one.

For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturing employer conceivably could enact certain head covering and/or hair-related restrictions for all employees working in “cleanroom” facilities where regulations demand a space that is free or nearly free from particulates.

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In civil litigation matters, including discrimination and harassment cases, attorneys make many assertions and arguments. To the ears of non-lawyers, some of those statements can seem extreme or inflammatory when, in actuality, they’re really mundane. At the same time, a lawyer might say something that sounds ordinary or trivial to a layperson that a skilled legal professional would immediately identify as grossly inappropriate and very important. That is just one of the countless reasons why you need an experienced New York discrimination lawyer handling your case.

A seasoned pro will both be able to spot those prejudicial comments and also know what to do about them. And knowing what to do is absolutely essential because, if you don’t take action at the right time, then that misstep may alone be enough to sink your argument, even if the other side said something completely improper.

The recent disability discrimination case of J.H., who was an Iraq War veteran, a sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a security worker for a New York State psychiatric center, is a good example. On multiple occasions, the man applied for a promotion but was never successful. A colleague testified that J.H. was denied his promotion because the agency’s decision-makers had doubts about his mental stability after his military service.

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The responses that survivors of workplace sexual harassment experience are wide and varied. For those that prefer to resolve their matters through a settlement, some may want to ensure maximum privacy as part of that process. Others of those survivors may want to avoid a settlement that silences them, instead maintaining their freedom to speak out about those who played a role in the harassment. Whatever category you fall into, know that there are options when it comes time to hammer out your settlement agreement. To make sure that your settlement agreement meets your needs and properly protects you, retain a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer to represent you throughout the process.

For those who seek to avoid being forced to choose between getting closure through a settlement or being free to speak about their experience, New York law has already erected protections. If a bill currently advancing through the state Senate becomes law, more statutory protections for certain survivors of sexual harassment will soon be on the books.

In April 2018, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that says an employer may not include a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in a sexual harassment settlement unless the employee desires it. Mayor de Blasio signed into law a similar rule for New York City one month later.

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It is, perhaps, the most incendiary word in the English language today. But is a single utterance of the N-word enough to make for a successful hostile work environment claim under federal law? With the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to hear a Texas man’s case, the answer to that will remain varied based upon where you bring your case. Fortunately for Black workers here in New York, there are a multitude of legal avenues available if you’ve been on the receiving end of that word on the job. To learn more about your options, make sure you’re getting the knowledgeable advice you need from an experienced New York workplace discrimination lawyer.

The case the Supreme Court declined to take involved a Black man who worked at a Dallas hospital and who ostensibly was fired for insubordination. According to the worker, his was a hostile work environment and his employer actually fired him in retaliation for his complaining about that environment.

Allegedly, R.C.’s workplace was one where the “N-word” was scratched into an elevator and where the storage room he often used had two swastikas drawn on the wall. The trial court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the N-word graffiti and the swastikas were not severe or pervasive enough to make for a hostile work environment.

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Not too long ago, Pew Research Center published research findings that, for many women, were probably supremely unsurprising. While women experienced sexual harassment across a full range of workplaces, the research found that the problem was worst in male-dominated fields. Climbing the ladder and achieving success as a woman in a male-dominated field is hard enough; you shouldn’t also have to overcome the toxicity of sexual harassment, too. If you have experienced a work environment made hostile by sexual harassment, you do not simply have to “deal with it” because the field of work you chose is populated mostly by men. Instead, reach out to a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer and find out how you can take action.

According to the research released by Pew, about 1 in 5 women in gender-balanced workplaces and female-dominated workplaces experienced sexual harassment at work. For women in male-dominated workplaces, the percentage of workplace sexual harassment was notably higher, at 28%.

A recent report from the New York Daily News is one data point that appears to further back up those numbers. The New York Mets’ baseball organization was, according to multiple female employees, a workplace “toxic” from sexual harassment.

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We’ve almost all seen them. They’re the shows featuring some combination of men and women sitting around discussing the news, politics, or sports issues of the day. While everything may be all smiles on set, behind the scenes may tell a different story. Workplaces like these where people are required to spend long hours working closely together can be a breeding ground for sexual harassment. If you’ve suffered sexual harassment in your TV job, know that there are legal options out there for you. Reach out to a knowledgeable New York employment lawyer to learn more about the best ways to protect your career and yourself.

According to one on-air personality, hers was one of those hostile workplaces. The alleged harasser and the alleged victim were the two co-hosts of a “political entertainment” TV talk show. Both were known celebrities. The alleged victim, B.M., was a former reporter and desk anchor for a major sports network and the alleged harasser, G.M., was a former professional wrestler.

According to B.M., G.M. sent her multiple text messages commenting on her appearance and making overtly sexual comments and also made in-person comments of a similar nature. B.M. eventually reported the harassment to the executive producer of the pair’s TV show but allegedly was rebuffed.

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