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Employment Discrimination


The Employment Law Attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group has Some of the Largest Verdicts

We are focused on workplace discrimination law in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Maimi. With our in-depth knowledge of employment discrimination laws, our attorneys defend the rights of employees who experience discrimination of any type in the workplace throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The attorneys at our law firm are effective employment law mediators and litigators.

We represent workers in disputes against employers who violate Human Rights & workplace discrimination laws as well as federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family, and Medical Leave Act, or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call (800) 807-2209 today.

Fighting against workplace discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace can take on many forms, sometimes overt but often times it can be very subtle. Our employment discrimination attorneys can advise you on the many different types of discrimination that can occur at your workplace. Employment discrimination most often occurs when an employee experiences unequal treatment based on certain personality traits.

Workplace discrimination laws mandate that in employment, people must be dealt with on an equal basis regardless of their cultural associations or personal traits. The following links lead to information about the most common types of discrimination in the workplace:


Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against people who are age 40 or older. Many employers fires, refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against men and women based on their age. While the ADEA provides protections for employees over 40, it does not protect workers under the age of 40. However; some states do have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination.

Wage and Hour Violations

All employees are entitled to equal pay based on his/her merit, however, many employers find new and innovative ways to discriminate against their employees. Wage or Compensation discrimination occurs anytime an employee is paid less based on his or her race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, age or citizenship, that is illegal. Other forms of compensation discrimination include salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock option, profit sharing, bonus plans, life insurance, vacation pay, holiday pay, or any other benefits of employment.

Common Misconceptions with Employment Law

It is important to be aware of common misconceptions with employment laws. Although many people are aware that they have the right to seek damages for discrimination and harassment, most people are not sure whether or not they have an actionable claim. Because some people rely on misconceptions about employment claims, that thinking could hurt the disposition of your case of employment discrimination.

Disability Discrimination / Failure To Accommodate

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) protects qualified employees with disabilities but who can do the job. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow disabled people to perform a job’s essential functions. Federal law does not allow companies with 15 or more employees to discriminate on the basis of a disability or perceived disability. Human rights laws do not allow disability discrimination when you work (or apply to work) at a company that has 4 or more employees.

LGBT Discrimination

It is illegal to discriminate against or harass someone due to their “actual or perceived” sexual orientation. In other words, you can not be discriminated against for being gay, even if you do not actually identify as a homosexual. You should not be harassed at work or denied employment benefits because of your LGBT status. Read More..

Ethnic Discrimination

America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. While most people live and work together in peace, there are instances where people do experience unfair treatment and ethnic discrimination. In addition to being unkind, ethnic discrimination in workplaces is a crime.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Unfortunately, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer LGBT (LGBTQ) community are just as susceptible to sexual harassment in the workplace as anyone else — in some work environments, LGBTQ individuals are at an even higher risk. Many instances of gay and lesbian harassment go unreported, making victims feel like they don’t have a voice. Now is your time to fight back.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination against women in the workplace is a complex area of the law and workers should consult with gender discrimination lawyers. Gender discrimination generally takes four basic forms in the workplace. Disparate Treatment: being treated differently because of gender. Disparate Impact: company policies that adversely affect employees based on gender. Sexual harassment/Hostile Work Environment: when misconduct interferes with individual work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment/Quid Pro Quo.

Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employer/manager treats an individual or a group of employees differently because of their religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. The Act also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless doing so would create an undue hardship upon the employer. Flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, job reassignments and lateral transfers are examples of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs. These protections are extended to treating someone differently because they are married to an individual of a particular religion.

National Origin Discrimination

National origin discrimination in employment involves treating individuals, employees and applicants, unfavorably based on their national origin, including individuals being from a particular country or region. This type of discrimination can include discriminating against individuals based on their ethnicity, accent or their perceived ethnic background, regardless of whether they are actually from that particular ethnic background. Further, the law protects individuals regardless of whether the victim and harasser are of the same national origin.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a current or potential employee differently because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or any medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a woman based on pregnancy. There are state and federal laws that protect women against this form of discrimination in all aspects of employment, including interviewing, hiring, discharge and promoting.

Race Discrimination

Race discrimination involves treating a current or potential employee differently because he/she is a member of a certain race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. Workplace racial discrimination may also come in the form of racial harassment by other employees or supervisors. Examples of race discrimination or racial harassment may include: comments due to skin color, hair, complexion, racially offensive comments, jokes, cartoons, pictures or emails. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color.

Weight Discrimination

Weight discrimination, often referred to as size discrimination, occurs when an employee or potential employee is treated differently because of their weight. Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 has failed to include obesity as a protected class. However, States, the EEOC, and the Courts have picked up the slack and have used “a broad scope of protection” in deciding disability discrimination claims. Often, the Court has taken how an employer perceived an employee’s disability into consideration in deciding whether the employer treated an individual unfairly based on their obesity.

Do you have a valid employment discrimination case?

According to attorney Derek T. Smith, most laws have identifiable elements to determine whether you were treated unlawfully. However, discrimination claims fall into a different category. Many times, these cases come down to circumstantial evidence, which may not be enough to win a judgment. In determining the validity of your case, you need to consider whether you have substantial proof that you suffered a type of harm called an adverse employment action.

The U.S. Supreme Court has narrowly defined an adverse employment action to mean a significant change in employment status, such as a demotion or termination, as a result of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Under this definition, you must prove that you suffered direct financial harm to win an employment discrimination claim.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has broadly defined an adverse employment action to mean any action on the part of an employer that could dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of employment discrimination. Examples would include punishment for making employment discrimination complaints or participating in discrimination investigations. Under this definition, both financial harm and non-financial harm can be used to prove you suffered adverse employment action.
Employment discrimination refers to practices that short-change workers based on personal characteristics rather than individual merit. While employment discrimination in New York can be a policy or behavior promoting certain groups, such as affirmative action, it is more often bias or unfavorable action against a certain group of people.

Job discrimination includes sexual harassment or offensive conduct that creates a hostile work environment. When employers violate discrimination laws, affected workers can file discrimination lawsuits. Let the discrimination lawyers at Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC personally review your case and expertly advise you on pursuing a litigation strategy.

Understanding Employment discrimination law

Employment discrimination laws prohibit direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favorably because of a personal trait compared with another without that quality.

Indirect discrimination in the workplace occurs when a selection practice puts minorities at a disadvantage in the hiring process. This involves setting up arbitrary conditions or requirements such as height restrictions or standardized testing without reasonable justification, which violates discrimination law. Let our employment law attorneys advise you if you have been a victim of discrimination in the workplace.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion, national origin, race, color, or gender. The law prohibits harassment or other unlawful employment action based on any of the following:

  • Affiliation: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because an individual is affiliated with a particular religious or ethnic group
  • Physical or cultural traits and clothing: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because of physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics, such as accent or dress associated with a particular religion, ethnicity, or country of origin
  • Perception: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because of the perception or belief that a person is a member of a particular racial, national origin, or religious group whether or not that perception is correct
  • Association: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because of an individual’s association with a person or organization of a particular religion or ethnicity

If you have further questions regarding the above laws or want to discuss your potential discrimination case, your employment law attorney at Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC is here to listen and help.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call (800) 807-2209 today.

Preventing harassment and employment discrimination

Employers must provide a workplace free of harassment based on cultural or religious affiliation or personal traits.
Employers should clearly communicate to their employees that harassment directed toward any racial or ethnic group is prohibited and employees must respect the rights of coworkers. They may be liable for harassment by workers as well as non-employees under their control.

An employer should also clearly communicate policies and procedures for addressing complaints of harassment. And they should train managers to identify and respond effectively to harassment even in the absence of a complaint. Your Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC employment discrimination lawyer can advise employers about what to include in employee handbooks and hiring procedures.

Consult Our Employment Discrimination Attorneys For a Free Consultation

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your age, criminal conviction, disability, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or gender, the attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC can help explain your rights and make sure they are protected. Contact us for a free initial consultation today by calling our toll free number 800-807-2209. Our employment discrimination attorneys can answer your questions, inform you of federal, state, and city laws that apply to your case and advise you about the legal options that are available to you. Our experienced lawyers are familiar with many different types of employment discrimination. We can determine an approach likely to succeed in a client’s particular circumstances. If you believe you have a discrimination case that warrants filing an employment discrimination lawsuit, please contact us. Our employment discrimination lawyers offer a free legal consultation to review your case and we charge no fee unless we recover for you.

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