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Employment Discrimination Don't Settle for Less: Your Employment Rights Matter

New York City Employment Discrimination Attorneys

Each year, tens of thousands of discrimination and harassment lawsuits are filed across the country. In recent years, the #MeToo movement has also shed light on the systemic abuses that pervade employer-employee relations. However, despite the knowledge of these injustices, employment discrimination continues to occur, especially in New York City.

To allege a claim of discrimination in the workplace, you must be a member of a protected class and suffer an adverse employment action as a result of being a member of that protected class.

At Brown Kwon & Lam, we know how difficult these cases can be. If you are a victim of employment discrimination, you deserve justice, and our employment discrimination lawyers in NYC are here to help.

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Types of Employment Discrimination in New York City

Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment can come in all shapes and sizes. It refers to unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors from co-workers, superiors, or even clients. In most cases, it’s not only about perverse sexual actions—it is about the harasser targeting the victim because of their gender.

Sexual harassment at work can have far-reaching consequences. Besides affecting the health and well-being of all workers, it may also decrease employee productivity and increase turnover.

But in this regard, the court takes several things into account before qualifying an act as sexual harassment. For example, a co-worker’s casual joke may not feel like a sexual threat, unless it is serious or offensive.

This can be hard to navigate, especially during such a difficult time. Let our discrimination attorneys in NYC help you.  

Contact our NYC discrimination attorney  to get started on your case.

Age Discrimination

By definition, age discrimination involves treating an employee less favorably due to their age. This could be anything, including:

  • Superiors passing you over for assignments
  • Disparaging age-related comments
  • Unspoken assumptions that you don’t need to take time off for your family because you don’t have any dependent children at home.

Few workplaces are completely immune to age discrimination. But you can challenge preconceived notions in several ways. Staying updated on the latest trends, using technology with ease, and projecting the same level of polish as your younger colleagues can work to your advantage.

You can also take a legal stand against ageism. And, the employment discrimination lawyers at Brown Kwon & Lam can support you. 

Gender & Sex Discrimination

Gender discrimination in the workplace occurs when a workplace treats an employee or applicant differently because of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.<

It’s important to note that gender or sex-based discrimination is not always explicit. Often, a policy that does not specify gender may eventually exclude women, trans, or non-binary people from certain workplace practices. This can still be discriminatory.

While workplace gender discrimination is nothing new, several legal steps have been taken to prevent it from occurring. In order to know if you are experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to know your state’s laws. An employment discrimination lawyer in NYC can assist you with this.

Racial Discrimination

Employees have the right to sue their employer if they discriminate against them because of their racial background. But filing a racial discrimination lawsuit in NYC is not the easiest thing in the world. Ideally, you should work with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to protect your best interests. We’ll ensure you get the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.

Religious Discrimination

If an employer mistreats a worker because of their religious beliefs, it counts as religious discrimination. Typically, this involves making decisions about promotions, dismissals, and new hires based on a religious bias.

Diversity in the workplace should never be optional. Employers must take active measures to establish a work environment that treats religious differences with respect. If you are experiencing discrimination in your New York job because of your actual or perceived religion, get in touch with discrimination attorneys in NYC today.

Mental or Physical Disability

At present, millions of people in the U.S. live with a disability. The CDC defines disability as any condition of the body or mind that makes it difficult for the afflicted person to complete certain activities or socialize with the world around them. 

Disability can:

  • Be present at birth, such as disorders in single genes and chromosomes
  • Appear later in life (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Result from an accident
  • Be progressive (muscular dystrophy), static (amputations), or intermittent (multiple sclerosis)

A disability shouldn’t derail you from pursuing a successful career. As a New York-based employee, you have the right to reasonable accommodation in the workplace. If you believe you were discriminated against due to your disability, contact an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.

Pregnancy Discrimination

In physically demanding jobs, pregnant women risk losing their position when they take breaks due to their condition. On the other hand, pregnant women in corporate offices are perceived to be less committed to their workload.

It may seem like there’s no immediate solution to this problem. However, as a working mother or mother-to-be, you have several rights. If you have faced discrimination while working during your pregnancy, the discrimination attorneys in NYC at Brown Kwon & Lam are here to fight for you.

Genetic Information

Genetic information discrimination occurs when an insurer or employer treats you differently because of your genetic information. For example, an employer may deny employment to an applicant because someone in their family has cancer, and the employer is afraid that the applicant will be diagnosed with cancer and increase healthcare costs.

Genetic information discrimination also occurs when an employer shares genetic information without consent. They can make negative or offensive remarks about your genetic information or about the genetic information of your relatives. Although this is fairly uncommon, it may happen once you get a genetic test.

However, there are laws to protect you from this type of discrimination. An employment discrimination lawyer at Brown Kwon & Lam can help you understand your legal options.

Previous Convictions

Many previous convicts fear that they will struggle to gain employment in the future. But under NYC laws, it is unlawful for an employer to disregard or terminate an individual if they have been convicted of one or more criminal offenses.

It is also illegal for most employers and licensing agencies in New York to discriminate against you because of:

  • Arrests that did not result in a conviction
  • Arrests that led to a non-criminal conviction
  • Youth offender adjudications
  • Juvenile delinquency convictions
  • Certain criminal convictions, provided you meet the requirements
  • Prostitution convictions, only if you were a victim of sex trafficking

Your past should not affect your future. But when a previous criminal conviction prevents you from seeking employment, you can fight back.

 Contact a skilled discrimination attorney in NYC to get started on your case.

Subtle Signs Of Discrimination In The Workplace

Whether or not discrimination is occurring isn’t always obvious. This could leave you questioning if you or other employees are experiencing it. Workplace discrimination, even in subtle forms, is extremely upsetting to experience and can negatively impact a person’s mental health, wellbeing, and career. It’s important to understand that discrimination at work is illegal and should never be tolerated.

Here are a few subtle signs of discrimination in the workplace:

  • Asking inappropriate personal questions:
    • You expect potential employers to ask questions about you to get to know you better during the interview process. Because of this, you might not think that anything is meant by personal questions other than an attempt to learn more about you. However, some questions go beyond what an employer is allowed to ask and could be considered discriminatory. This includes questions regarding your age, race, family status, and religion. Employers could use information like this to discriminate against you. Questions like these aren’t always malicious, but should not be overlooked.
  • Lack of diversity:
    • If you look around a company, you might notice that many employees are all of the same race, gender, age group, or another characteristic. This can sometimes be a sign of a workplace with discriminatory practices, even if they don’t explicitly say who they do and do not accept. Who is in positions of leadership can also be very telling. When leadership is made up of only people in certain classes, excluding others in protected classes, it could be a sign that discrimination is occurring and preventing members of protected classes from rising up in the company.
  • Gendered roles and duties:
    • In the past, people of certain races, genders, and other groups were limited to performing specific jobs. Unfortunately, this still happens today and can affect people of all protected classes. For example, women might be expected to perform secretarial and administrative duties, even if their qualifications are higher than this type of work. Employees who belong to protected classes may be required to perform duties below what they’re qualified for, tasked with work that could be seen as degrading or humiliating, or be given a large or difficult workload beyond their capabilities that can cause them to fail.
  • Offensive comments, jokes, and other forms of communication:
    • Some may have experienced “jokes” or comments pointed at stereotypes of a protected class that they or another coworker belong to while at work. These may try to be passed off as lighthearted humor that wasn’t meant to offend, but this can sometimes be classified as discrimination. Some employees might also notice that the tone their coworkers or supervisors use with them may differ from how they communicate with others. For example, they may frequently speak to workers in protected classes with a hostile or demeaning tone, while others don’t receive this treatment.

Knowing how to identify discrimination at work isn’t always simple, but even the smallest signs shouldn’t be ignored. Contact Brown Kwon & Lam if you believe you’ve suffered from employment discrimination. Contact us online or call us at (212) 295-5828.

On Your Side, Every Step of the Way

How to Prove Employment Discrimination Took Place

Proving employment discrimination has taken place can be difficult, but as an employee, you deserve to work in a setting where you feel comfortable and safe. Signs of employment discrimination can include:

  • Lack of diversity in the general workforce or in higher-paying positions
  • Denial of promotions
  • Communication that ostracizes some employees
  • Failure to discipline those who are discriminatory towards employees
  • Excluding applicants of certain ethnicities or racial backgrounds from the hiring process
  • Firing an employee for taking maternity leave
  • Refusing to let a person take leaves for religious reasons
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Inquiring about a candidate’s age during a job interview
  • Issuing employees with a poor performance review after they take a disability leave

Entitled Compensation Under New York Employment Discrimination Law

If the court finds your employer guilty of discriminating against you, then they owe you compensation. This may include: 

Back pay and front pay

Under New York employment discrimination law, you are entitled to both front pay and back pay as compensation. Front pay is money employees receive after experiencing employment discrimination. If a court finds that a worker was wrongfully terminated, they can receive front pay as compensation for inflicted damages

Back pay is a wage violation solution where an employer must provide underpaid workers with full wages. This is done to make up for the difference between what the employer pays, and what they should be paying.

Attorney fees

If you want to win a lawsuit against your employer, your best bet would be to hire a lawyer. But high attorney fees can be a significant dealbreaker for most people. Fortunately, your compensation may be included in your entitled compensation.

Health insurance

Healthcare coverage is a recoverable damage in an employment discrimination lawsuit, as per New York employment discrimination law. But if your employer fails to provide you with it, you may need to press additional charges. Do not hesitate to talk to a reputable lawyer to determine the right course of action for your case.

Retirement packages and benefits

Your employer must compensate you for lost workplace benefits, including retirement packages and 401(k) plans. Although it may be challenging to quantify the exact value of these benefits in monetary terms, a skilled employment discrimination lawyer in New York will be able to help.


When your employee terminates you for discriminatory reasons, you may be denied your final payment. This is illegal in most instances. In this regard, you can sue your employer to retrieve your final salary and severance pay. To better understand your options, discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.


Pension is another lost benefit you can recover in an employment discrimination lawsuit. Simply put, you are entitled to all forms of pension benefits earned during your employment. Any adjustments your employer makes to pension benefits during the time of your case will also be in the back pay award.

Owed vacation pay

If your organization allows a specific number of sick or vacation days per year, you should receive payment for vacation time you have yet to use. You should also receive payment for the vacation time you’ll accumulate while waiting for the court’s decision. Vacation time your employer owes you is also a part of the back pay award.

You may also be entitled to compensatory damages like medical expenses due to the pain and suffering caused by discriminatory practices and expenses for finding new employment.

FAQs about New York Employment Discrimination Law

What is Employment Discrimination?

Discrimination in the workplace is based on certain preconceived notions. In most instances, it occurs when an employee is subjected to unfair treatment due to their age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnic background, or other protected characteristic. Employers may discriminate against workers with disabilities or past criminal charges as well.

Employment discrimination is illegal under multiple state and federal laws. As a victim, you should get in touch with an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.

How Can an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in NY Help Me with My Case?

A discrimination attorney in NYC can assist you in the following ways.

  • A lawyer will assess your case and establish if you are experiencing discrimination.
  • They will gather and present evidence to support your claims.
  • They can inform you of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, trial costs, and the type/number of damages you can recover upon winning.
  • An attorney will provide you with all your legal options.
  • Lastly, they’ll enable you to move on from the ugly experience and transition to a new job/career path.

Contact Our Employment Discrimination Lawyers in NYC

As a member of a protected class, group, identity, etc., you are legally entitled to a safe work environment with equal opportunities and rights. But when your employer discriminates against you, ensuring you won’t be able to advance in your chosen career, you deserve justice.

If you believe that you were a victim of employment discrimination or harassment in NYC, contact Brown Kwon & Lam.

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