If you have recently lost your job, we know that you are probably confused, scared, and maybe even a little embarrassed. You know that your employer has the right to lay you off for no reason, but you can't help but shake the feeling that there's something illegal or wrong about your termination.
DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION
If you're having trouble at work and think discrimination or retaliation is to blame, you may be able to fight back against your employer's poor behavior. D'Orazio Peterson handles employment law cases involving FMLA violations; incidents of discrimination based on your protected status like race, disability, gender, age, national origin or sexual orientation; and retaliation for complaining about discrimination or unfair treatment.
WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION: TITLE VII, ADEA, ADA, USERRA, NY HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, NY LABOR LAW
We are taught that all people are created equal, and yet it's hard to ignore the fact that some people are just treated differently at work. Discrimination is not always blatantly obvious; it may come in the form of rude remarks played off as “jokes” or just feeling like you are always passed over for important projects or opportunities.
We help people whose rights have been violated under the major employment laws:
- Title VII : Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer to terminate or otherwise discriminate against an individual on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment) or national origin. Title VII also protects women from Pregnancy Discrimination.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the New York Human Rights Law make it unlawful for an employer to terminate or otherwise discriminate against an individual because of that person's age (40 or above under the ADEA or 18 or above under the NYHRL).
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York Human Rights Law make it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of a disability and require the provision of reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities.
- USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) : USERRA protects military service members from discrimination and protects their jobs for them while they are on active duty.
- New York State Human Rights Law : In addition to age, disability and the protected classes also covered by Title VII, the NYHRL also protects individuals from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status and familial status.
- New York Labor Law : The Labor Law governs the payment of wages and many other workplace conditions including equal pay for women and the rights of breastfeeding mothers.
THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is often associated with maternity leave but actually applies to many types of leave for “serious health conditions.” The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. We represent employees whose FMLA rights have been interfered with and who have been retaliated against from taking FMLA leave.
THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains various provisions related to the payment of wages including overtime pay. The FLSA also includes the Equal Pay Act which requires female workers to receive equal pay for equal work.
The major employment laws also protect individuals who have engaged in “protected activity” from retaliation. Protected activity includes making complaints of discrimination or harassment, complaints of violations of the FLSA or the NY Labor Law, requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability or requesting and taking FMLA leave.
In addition to the retaliation provisions of the employment-specific laws listed out above, various federal and state statutes also provide protections to workers who blow the whistle on illegal conduct and violations of the law. These can include complaints that an employer is violating laws that protect the public health and safety or that an employer is defrauding the federal government.
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