Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
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If you follow the news, you likely have come across the phrases “the wage gap” or “the pay gap.” Generally, when these phrases appear in news stories, they refer to the gender wage gap, a/k/a the extent to which women make less than men for comparable work. Sometimes, though, wage gaps cut along lines other than gender, as a recent federal race discrimination case demonstrates. If you discover that you (and others of your race) are being paid less than others outside your racial group for the same or similar work, then it’s time to consult a knowledgeable New York City race discrimination lawyer and consider what your next legal steps should be.

A group of New York City inspectors recently achieved success, not just in pursuing their wage gap-driven race discrimination case, but in pursuing it as a class action. (Class actions can benefit workers by allowing them to litigate as one, often making costs lower and the likelihood of financial recovery greater.)

The plaintiffs were employed as fire protection inspectors employed by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). These jobs called for inspectors to “conduct inspections of buildings, facilities, vehicles, and public activities in New York City to ensure compliance with safety codes, rules, and regulations.” According to the inspectors’ lawsuit, roughly 70% of the individuals employed in that role were people of color.

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In any discrimination and/or harassment lawsuit, there are two elements that are essential to success. Obviously, you’ll need to have to present a case where the facts and the law are on your side. Before you can do that, though, you have to acquire the evidence necessary to establish that factual basis. Much of this acquisition process occurs through pre-trial discovery and the exchange of information with the other side. Sometimes, though, the other side doesn’t follow the rules in engaging in the discovery process and, when that happens, you need a skilled New York employment discrimination who can advocate effectively for you to address the situation.

The race discrimination case of R.E., a Black woman employed as a personal training manager by a chain of luxury fitness clubs, shows how all these pieces can come together.

During her last three months on the job, R.E. allegedly experienced racial harassment on multiple occasions and complained about the incidents, but her employer failed to “properly investigate or address” the situations.

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When you discover you have a disability that qualifies under the law, your employer is required to make a good faith effort to provide a reasonable accommodation for that disability. Sometimes, an employer may ultimately provide you with an accommodation, but only after months of delay and attempts at avoiding accommodating you. In those sorts of scenarios, the employer’s intransigence (even when followed by an ultimate approval) may amount to a refusal to accommodate and, with representation from a knowledgeable New York disability discrimination lawyer, you may be able to take that proof and build a successful Americans With Disabilities Act case.

As an example of this kind of circumstance, there’s the disability discrimination case of R.B., a lawyer in his 50s working in the legal department of a healthcare insurance company headquartered upstate.

In 2018, doctors diagnosed him with “pulmonary and cardiac sarcoidosis.” He underwent surgery to install a pacemaker but that was not enough. In August 2019, doctors placed him on a powerful immunosuppressive drug that required half-day absences from work to administer. According to R.B., both the Deputy General Counsel and the General Counsel began making comments around this time about how the company’s legal department “would benefit from hiring younger attorneys.”

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In a Title VII discrimination case, a worker can succeed in multiple possible ways. One is to provide direct evidence of discrimination. For example, if your boss finds out on Monday that you’re pregnant and, on Tuesday, sends you an email that says, “I just found out that you’re pregnant. Best of luck on a healthy pregnancy. Also, we don’t want pregnant workers so you’re fired, effective immediately,” then that’s direct evidence. As most experienced New York employment discrimination lawyers can tell you, though, obtaining that degree of blatant “smoking gun” proof is hard to do and rare.

As a result, many workers must rely on another method, called an “inference of discrimination.” Say that you tell your supervisor on Monday about your pregnancy. On Thursday, you receive a letter from Human Resources that says, “upon further review, we no longer believe that you have the capacity to perform all of the essential functions of your job, so we are terminating your employment, effective immediately.” That’s a potential example of an “inference of discrimination” situation.

The pregnancy discrimination case of S.S., an employee for the U.S. Postal Service, was an example of an “inference of discrimination” scenario where the worker succeeded.

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When it becomes necessary to initiate an employment discrimination lawsuit, you can probably expect your employer to throw up many arguments against you. They may say that you’ve filed too late. They may say you have no right to sue. They may contend that you did not comply with some aspect of a rule of trial procedure. The best way to prepare yourself to take on — and overcome — defense arguments like these is to ensure you have a powerful and knowledgeable New York age discrimination on your side from the start.

E.R.’s age discrimination case was an example of one of those instances where a worker overcame that kind of defense argument.

E.R. was a highly accomplished university professor. After 23 years at CUNY-Baruch College, he accepted a position at Long Island University in 2015. He was in his early 60s at the time. For his first three years at LIU, he served as the dean of the business school.

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Incurring a disability after several years on the job can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve worked in your role successfully for many years but now, thanks to a condition over which you have no control, your ability to do your job is impaired. For some of these workers, certain accommodations can allow them to return to productivity. If you’re a worker like that and your employer has denied you the accommodation you need, it’s possible your employer’s decision constitutes illegal disability discrimination. A knowledgeable New York disability discrimination lawyer can help you assess your situation and plot the best path forward.

S.G., a computer specialist for the transit authority, was one of those workers, according to his disability discrimination lawsuit.

He’d held his specialist job since 1999. Several studies have linked jobs with high amounts of keyboard and mouse use with elevated risks of wrist tendonitis, including wrist tenosynovitis. One study showed “a significant 4% increase in risk (hazard ratio) for hand-arm diagnoses for every hour of keying performed per week. A majority of these diagnoses fall in the category of wrist tendonitis.”

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If you’ve endured race-based discrimination at your job, you likely have many questions, like “can I sue?” and “if I sue, what proof and/or allegations do I need to make a case?” In answering these and other critical questions about your race discrimination case, be sure you’re getting the answers you need. To do that, retain an experienced New York City race discrimination lawyer with the knowledge necessary to give you the advice you need.

In many cases, a vital early hurdle is defeating your employer’s motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment. Keep in mind, though, that you usually do not need as much to defeat one of these motions as you’ll ultimately need at trial.

The race discrimination case of D.W. was a good example. She was a Black woman who worked as an administrative assistant for an employer in Westchester County and was someone who allegedly suffered extensive discrimination.

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The phrase “holistic approach” is popular in many fields these days, from education to healthcare to business. The word holistic, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” What does that have to do with employment law? More than you might think, especially if you have been the victim of a pervasively hostile work environment. A recent hostile work environment case from just to our north reinforces the rule that, in hostile work environment cases, the courts must consider the misconduct not as a series of separate events but rather as a single picture to be assessed holistically. Whether the harassment you endured was pervasive or was less frequent but more egregious, a knowledgeable New York City hostile work environment lawyer can help you get the relief you deserve.

The employee in the case, V.M., was a machine equipment operator in the highway department of a town in Rockland County. The operator’s decade-long time on the job was permeated with a wide array of acts of sex discrimination and harassment, according to her lawsuit. One supervisor allegedly barred her from using the women’s restroom in the administrative portion of the highway department office, thereby forcing her to change clothes in a closet infested with rats.

A non-supervisory male member of another crew allegedly tried to close V.M.’s fingers in doors and blocked her pathway in the parking lot. A foreman on a different road crew “bullied [V.M.] by making “disgusting noises” when she passed him and blocking doorways she tried to enter,” according to the complaint. That foreman also allegedly yelled at V.M. for refusing to drive a truck that she’d previously identified as needing maintenance work.

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Many studies agree that sexual harassment is a widespread problem in the restaurant industry. Last summer, around the same time that celebrity chef Mario Batali agreed to settle a case brought by the New York Attorney General, NPR reported that a 2021 study from Social Science Research Solutions found that 71% of female restaurant workers had experienced some degree of sexual harassment on the job. For female tipped workers, the number was even higher, at 76%. If you’ve endured harassment in your restaurant work, you don’t have to be quiet and tolerate it. Instead, you can take action by getting in touch with a knowledgeable New York City sexual harassment lawyer to discuss and go over your legal options.

Undeniably, workplace harassment is damaging to its victims. On top of the harassment itself, speaking out against harassment comes with its own separate set of problems, mainly retaliation. Complaining about inappropriate comments, jokes, or sexual advances, whether perpetrated by coworkers, supervisors, or customers, potentially can cost some women their jobs. For those living “paycheck to paycheck,” a sudden and unplanned job loss like that can be catastrophic.

This harassment is almost always more than just an intemperate remark or a few slightly problematic jokes. Take, for example, the sexual harassment case of R.C. and several other female workers at a Rochester restaurant.

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When your employer retaliates against you at work because you engaged in some sort of protected activity (like pursuing a discrimination or harassment claim or assisting in someone else’s discrimination or harassment claim,) getting proof of that retaliation often isn’t easy. That negative performance review won’t say your “unsatisfactory” grade was the result of your discrimination complaint. When it comes to proving the retaliation you endured, rely on a knowledgeable New York discrimination lawyer to help you get the evidence you’ll need.

R.D. was one of those employees who allegedly endured retaliation for a discrimination complaint. She was an educator who began teaching at a public high school in Washington Heights in 1997. In 2005, she became an assistant principal.

Things presumably proceeded uneventfully until after Y.D. took over as principal in the fall of 2016. Y.D. was 18 years younger than R.D. and allegedly engaged in multiple acts of hostility, including ridiculing R.D. and undermining her with other administrators and teachers.

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