Gender Discrimination Lawyer in Rochester, NY
Experienced Rochester Employment Attorney Helping Victims of Workplace Gender Discrimination Protect Their Rights
You should have the same opportunities at work as people of the opposite gender, but that does not always happen. A staggering 42 percent of women experience discrimination in the workplace, and this discrimination holds people back from reaching their long-term goals. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you probably wonder what you can do. With so many women discriminated against, can you take action?
Yes, you can. Gender discrimination is against the law, and you can file a claim against your employer. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm specializes in employment law and has represented countless people just like you. Contact the law firm for a free phone consultation.
Gender Discrimination Laws
Both the state of New York and the federal government prohibit discrimination based on gender. Various laws are on the books that make this position clear.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people who work for companies that have at least 15 employees. The New York Human Rights Law takes it a step further by protecting people that work at companies with four or more employees. The employees do not have to work at the same location. They can even telecommute and still be counted toward that number.
What Are The Most Common Types of Gender Discrimination?
Discrimination During Interviews
State and federal laws provide guidelines for interview questions. Interviewers should provide the same types of questions to both men and women. Still, employers often ask women gender-specific questions. For example, interviewers might ask a woman if she intends to have children. If the woman says yes, the interviewer might discard her application due to potential maternity leave. If this has happened to you, you might have a gender discrimination claim.
The gender pay gap is an issue that plagues the entire United States. The state of New York has fought to eliminate this problem by requiring employers to provide equal pay to employees who perform “substantially similar” work. This goes beyond equal pay for equal work. Sadly, many employers still pay women less than men for substantially similar work. Many of the cases we see involve unequal pay in the workplace.
Positions should go to the most qualified applicants, regardless of gender. Unfortunately, some employers are biased against women and will not hire them to work in certain positions. They might employ women to work as secretaries but not to lead a team, regardless of qualifications. Also, they might refuse to hire women as security guards due to the belief that the job is not suitable for women.
This form of discrimination can also be against men. Some companies do not want to hire male nurses or secretaries, even though they are qualified. Position bias has no place in the state of New York, and The Cimino Law Firm will file a claim on your behalf.
Benefits discrimination is not as common, but it does happen in New York. Benefits discrimination refers to employers giving male employees better benefits such as additional leave or a company car while female staff in substantially similar roles do not enjoy the same benefits.
It’s reasonable to expect men and women in substantially similar roles to have the same responsibilities. Unfortunately, employers sometimes discriminate regarding responsibilities. They might make a female employee answer phone calls and file even though that is not her job while allowing the male employee to take clients to lunches and close deals.
You have likely heard of the glass ceiling. This is the ceiling that employers often refuse to let women break. This artificial barrier prevents women from getting promotions they are the most qualified for, so they are unable to advance in the workplace. The glass ceiling might be a common term around the workplace, but it is also against the law. Employers cannot deny women promotions based on gender. This is a form of sex discrimination.
Sexual harassment is also all too common in the workplace. Both men and women can be victims of this form of gender discrimination. Sexual harassment falls into two categories. First, there is quid pro quo sexual harassment. The victim believes he or she must accept the harassment to get something in return, such as a promotion or job stability. The second kind is a hostile work environment. The harassment makes the work environment so hostile and uncomfortable that it’s challenging to continue the employment.
While the New York Human Rights Law typically only governs companies with four or more employees, there is an exception regarding sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is against the law for all companies, regardless of the number of employees it has. You could be the only employee and still sue for sexual harassment.
Unfortunately, termination and layoffs do happen from time to time. New York is an at-will state, meaning that employers can typically fire employees without reason. However, they do not have the right to engage in discriminatory termination practices. Firing someone because she is pregnant is discrimination. Also, if a company has to lay off employees and only fires females while keeping less-skilled or equally-skilled males around, that is a sign of discrimination.
How Do You File A Claim for Gender Discrimination?
If you are the victim of gender discrimination and still have your job, begin the process by reporting it to your employer. Your employer might choose to fix the problem, so you don’t have to take legal action.
Reporting a problem can be frightening when you are already a victim of gender discrimination. You might be afraid your employer will retaliate against you. Our firm can assist you during this process if you need help.
After you report the claim, give your employer a short time to fix the problem. If your company continues to discriminate against you, it is time to take action.
You can file a complaint with the federal and state government. To file with the federal government, you need to make a claim with the EEOC. You can also file the claim with a state agency.
After you file with government agencies, you can move forward with a lawsuit. You might be entitled to damages based on your claim. Potential damages include:
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages
Understand that punitive damages are only awarded in the most egregious cases.
Along with providing you with financial compensation, the courts might take additional action regarding your employment. The court can order the employer to reinstate, hire, or promote you. If you feel uncomfortable with this, talk to our employment law attorney. We can fight for financial compensation without trying to get you reinstated, hired, or promoted.
Contact An Experienced Rochester Gender Discrimination Lawyer Today
You want equal opportunities at work, but your employer has let you down. We understand how difficult this is for you, and we encourage you to fight for your rights.
With more than two decades of experience, The Cimino Law Firm understands these cases, as well as the emotions that our clients feel. We represent our clients in two ways. First, we fight for them by using the laws to hold employers accountable. Second, we help them navigate the difficult emotions they feel.
We can begin the process with a free phone consultation. Call us to set it up. Then you can visit our Webster or Rochester, NY office to start your case.
You don’t just deserve equal treatment. Your employer is required to provide it. Let the law fight for you. Call us for your free phone consultation today.