As the holiday season swings into full gear, many employees and employers will face issues that may arise at company holiday parties. These parties are often designed to celebrate a successful year and reward employees for their dedication and hard work. However, the nature of these events often leads individuals to lower their inhibitions and potentially engage in unacceptable and offensive behavior. New York employees facing such discrimination at these office events should contact a New York employment discrimination attorney to address their claims.
Both New York and federal laws that protect against employment discrimination extend to off-hours and off-site work events. Additionally, employers should take precautionary steps by advising their employees on acceptable workplace behavior. However, despite the training, education, and risk of termination, employers and co-workers still engage in this unlawful behavior.
In addition to federal protections covering race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, citizenship status, and genetic information, New York City law prohibits qualified employers from discriminating against an employee based on their creed, actual or perceived age, marital or partnership status, pregnancy, military status, or caregiver status. Additional protections exist covering criminal and arrest history, sex offenders, and domestic violence victims. The federal protections apply to employers with more than 15 employees, and New York City protections apply to employers with more than four employees. Claims regarding sexual harassment do not have an employee minimum.
Some common examples of discriminatory behavior at a holiday event include, making disparaging remarks regarding race or religion, unwanted sexual advances, mocking based on disability or age, or intrusive questioning regarding marital status or pregnancy plans. Employers and co-workers may argue that they were joking or under the influence of alcohol, but this is rarely enough to evade liability. New York law protects employees from hostile work environments and retaliation for making complaints about discrimination.
Employers who experienced discrimination at a company holiday party should take steps to ensure that they protect their rights and hold the offending party liable. Victims of employment discrimination should report their discrimination and hire a New York employment discrimination attorney to assist them in filing a claim with the appropriate agency. New regulations provide stricter and more severe sanctions on offending employers, including potential punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Have You Suffered Employment Discrimination at a Company Holiday Party?
If you have experienced race discrimination or other discrimination at a work-related function, contact the experienced New York employment discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates. The attorneys at our law firm understand the unique challenges that off-site, after-hour employment discrimination claims pose. We have extensive experience overcoming these hurdles and holding employers responsible for their offensive behavior. You may be entitled to various remedies if your employer discriminated against you or allowed others to do so. Remedies may include, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, lost benefits, in addition to potential punitive damages. These cases require a thorough and comprehensive understanding of New York employment discrimination laws, and you should contact our office to increase your chances of success. Contact our office at 212-248-7431 to discuss your discrimination lawsuit with an attorney on our team.