Employees are victims of discrimination when they are treated less favorably and terminated because of their race, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic identity/heritage, citizenship status, obesity, medical history, marital status, political activity, or need for leave to care for an ill family member. Protection against discrimination covers everything from hiring and disparate treatment to failing to promote and termination. 

Employment Discrimination

 

Age Discrimination

 

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the workplace due to his age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) and New York State and City laws protect employees 40 years of age or older from discrimination based on their age.  These laws make it illegal to discriminate against an employee because of their age when hiring, firing, promoting, or training, or with regard to any other term or condition of employment.
  
It is illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for making age discrimination complaints. Laws are designed to permit employees to complain about age discrimination without fear of retaliation.  An employer that retaliates against an employee for making an age discrimination complaint faces the same damages/penalties that it would for discrimination.
 
While many believe that race discrimination is no longer a pervasive problem in the workplace, this kind of discrimination persists even today. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the workplace due to the employee’s race and/or national origin.  Federal, New York State, and New York City laws protect employees from discrimination based on their race and/or national origin.  These laws make it illegal to discriminate against an employee because of his/her race when hiring, firing, promoting, of training, or with regard to any other term or condition of employment.

 

It is illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for making race discrimination complaints. Laws are designed to permit employees to complain about age discrimination without fear of retaliation.  An employer that retaliates against an employee for making a race discrimination complaint faces the same damages/penalties that it would face for discrimination.

Race Discrimination

 

 

Religious Discrimination

 

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the workplace on the basis of religion.  Federal and New York State and City laws protect employees against religious discrimination and require employers to accommodate religious practices except when this would create an unreasonable burden. 
 
Some examples of religious discrimination include: disparate treatment; derogatory comments; forbidding hairstyles or clothing; terminating employees for taking time off to observe religious holidays; refusing to allow certain religious practices in the workplace; and denying opportunities such as employment, promotions, compensation increases, bonuses due to religious beliefs and/or practices.
 
It is illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for making religious discrimination complaints. Laws are designed to permit employees to complain about religious discrimination without fear of retaliation.  An employer that retaliates against an employee for making a religious discrimination complaint faces the same damages/penalties that it would face for discrimination.
 

Gender Discrimination

 

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the workplace on the basis of gender.  Federal, New York State and New York City laws protect employees against gender discrimination.  These laws make it illegal for an employer to treat an employee or prospective employee differently solely because the individual is a woman or a man. 
 
These laws protect employees against sexual harassment, unequal pay, discriminatory promotions, pregnancy discrimination, and marital or parental status. There can be no dispute that males and females must be treated equally in the workplace. 
 
Males and females should be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment, including the same policies and practices concerning recruiting, hiring, firing, placement, promotion, advancement or work opportunity, job training, job assignment, working conditions, compensation, benefits, layoffs and other terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

 

It is illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for making gender discrimination complaints. Laws are designed to permit employees to complain about gender discrimination without fear of retaliation.  An employer that retaliates against an employee for making a gender discrimination complaint faces the same damages/penalties that it would for discrimination.
 

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
 
New York State and New York City laws protect employees against sexual orientation discrimination. These laws make it illegal for an employer to treat an employee or prospective employee differently solely because the individual’s sexual orientation. 
 
All employees, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity should be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment including the same policies and practices concerning recruiting, hiring, firing, placement, promotion, advancement or work opportunity, job training, job assignment, working conditions, compensation, benefits, layoffs and other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

 

It is illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for making sexual orientation discrimination complaints. Laws are designed to permit employees to complain about sexual orientation discrimination without fear of retaliation. 
 
An employer that retaliates against an employee for making sexual orientation discrimination complaint faces the same damages/penalties that it would for face for discrimination.
 

Disability Discrimination

 

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the workplace due to his or her disability. 
 
The Americas With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and New York State and New York City laws protect employees from discrimination based on disability. These laws make it illegal to discriminate against an employee because of his or her disability when hiring, firing, promoting, or training, or with regard to any other term or condition of employment. These laws also require an employer to reasonably accommodate the employee’s disability so long as with the accommodation he or she can continue to perform the essential functions of the job.

 

It is also illegal to discriminate against an employee in the workplace due to his or her perceived disability. A perceived disability discrimination occurs when the employer treats the employee unfairly because the employer believes the employee is disabled when he or she is not.
 
It is illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for making disability discrimination complaints. Laws are designed to permit employees to complain about disability discrimination without fear of retaliation. 
 
An employer that retaliates against an employee for making disability discrimination complaint faces the same damages/penalties that it would face for discrimination.
 
In New York it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire, fail to promote, or terminate an employee because she is pregnant. In addition, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”) makes it illegal to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee due to pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical conditions. 
 
An accommodation is available if the employee is able to perform the essential functions of the job and it does not occasion an undue hardship to the employer. 
 

Some employers grant an accommodation but resent the employee for being pregnant and/or requiring an accommodation. 

 

The PWFA also provides protection against retaliation. This makes it illegal for an employer to terminate or mistreat an employee for becoming pregnant or obtaining a related accommodation.

Pregnancy Discrimination