Did you know that from 1997 to 2018 there were 1,889,631 discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? With that level of frequency, many employees in New York likely have questions about employment discrimination. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we know how challenging these situations can be, which is why we’ve provided the answers to these common employment discrimination FAQs.
How do I know if I’m experiencing discrimination?
Sometimes, you may wonder if the conduct by your employer or coworkers qualifies as discrimination or just being a poor team player. However, if you feel that you are being treated unfairly because of your status as a member of a protected class, you likely have a claim. A protected class is someone’s race, gender, sex, religion, national origin, disability, etc.
In addition, if your employer’s or coworkers’ conduct involved sexual gestures or propositioning, you likely have a claim.
Do I need an attorney for employment discrimination?
You can file a claim for employment discrimination without an attorney. But, it is often a good idea to have one as your employer may try to turn the tables on you. They may strong-arm you into settling for a lesser amount than you deserve to avoid a PR nightmare.
Although settling out of court is common and not necessarily a bad idea, it’s important to make sure that you receive everything you deserve. This is why it’s important to have an attorney by your side who will negotiate what is right and just for your suffering.
How long do I have to file an employment discrimination complaint?
If you are filing with the New York Division of Human Rights, you have one year to file your complaint. However, an attorney can determine if you can file a complaint out of state depending on the circumstances of your case.
What accommodations does my employer need to provide to me?
If you have a disability or are pregnant and need accommodation, your employer must provide a reasonable accommodation that does not cause undue hardship to the employer.
Furthermore, be mindful. You may need to provide medical documentation to show what is reasonable.
What happens if my employer retaliates against me for filing a discrimination complaint?
Many individuals think that retaliation only occurs when you are a whistleblower. However, you may be subject to retaliation for reporting, filing, or participating in a discrimination or sexual harassment claim as well as for reporting wrongdoing by an employer.
If you’re experiencing retaliation, know that you can seek justice through a New York retaliation attorney.
Does the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) protect me?
The ADA protects you if you have:
- A mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as breathing, walking, hearing, seeing, or speaking; or
- Have a record of this type of impairment or is viewed as having such an impairment
Visit our disability discrimination page for more information.
What can I get in employment discrimination cases if successful?
If your employment discrimination case is successful, you may receive damages for:
- Back pay and front pay
- Attorney fees
- Health insurance
- Retirement packages and benefits
- Owed vacation pay
Does my employer need to tell me why I was fired?
New York is an at-will employment state, meaning your employer can discharge you at any time for any reason or no reason at all. The only exception is retaliation or discrimination. This would be an illegal firing.
Who can help me in my employment discrimination case?
When you suspect you are experiencing unfair treatment by an employer or coworker as a result of discrimination, know that you don’t have to stand by as it happens. The New York employment discrimination attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam have experience fighting for employees in New York City and New York State.
Contact our firm at (718) 971-0326 or contact us online for a free consultation. We’ll fight for you.