New York Employment Law Guide

New York Employment Law Guide Rochester Employment Lawyer - The Cimino Law Firm

You have certain rights as an employee in the state of New York. Your employer should respect those rights, but if he or she doesn’t, an employment lawyer can help.

We created the New York employment law guide to help employees understand their rights as they pertain to employment law in New York. Rochester employment lawyer Michelle Cimino has dealt with countless cases where an employer has infringed on an employee’s rights, and she can help you, too.

If you believe your employer has broken the law, contact us for a confidential consultation. No one is above the law, and our firm will fight for your rights.

Wage and Hour Claims

New York’s Minimum Wage Act states that all non-tipped employees must receive at least $11.10 an hour. The minimum wage will increase each year until reaching $15 an hour ($10 an hour for tipped workers).

Unfortunately, not all businesses have adjusted their wages accordingly. Far too many employees are not receiving the state-mandated minimum wage, and others are not getting paid overtime, even though they log more than 40 hours a week. It is difficult enough to support yourself on minimum wage. It becomes close to impossible if you are not being paid what your employer legally owes you.

The problem becomes even worse when employers make illegal deductions. For example, some employers deduct payment over broken items at work. This is illegal, and you can fight back.

If your employer is not paying the minimum wage, failing to compensate overtime work, or withholding some or all of your pay, you can make a claim. With our help, you can receive your unpaid wages. This will put you in a much better financial situation as you plan for your future.

Employment Discrimination

Federal and state laws have created protected classes in the United States. You cannot be discriminated against based on:

  • National origin
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Familial status
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military status
  • Political affiliation
  • Genetic characteristics
  • Criminal convictions, in most cases

While it is the law of the land to treat each person fairly, employers do not always comply. Employers might refuse to hire someone of a specific religion or fire someone after she becomes pregnant. These are just two of the many examples of employment discrimination in this state.

We take employment discrimination cases very seriously. Every person should have the right to work in New York and the rest of the country. If you’ve been denied your rights, our employment lawyer will be your advocate.

Workplace Retaliation

You have certain protections in place that allow you to report crimes without fear of retaliation. These crimes include sexual harassment and illegal activity. You can also participate in a lawsuit against your employer based on the crimes. If an employer retaliates against you after you engage in a protected activity, that employer has committed a crime and needs to be held accountable.

You might be a victim of retaliation if you have engaged in a protected activity and been fired or demoted afterward. Retaliation can also be in the form of a reassignment, suspension, removal of privileges, or reduction of work hours.

Far too often, employees think they cannot fight back against workplace retaliation. However, our employment lawyer has spent years fighting for the rights of employees. With our help, you can sue for damages. You might be entitled to compensation as well as reinstatement at your place of employment.

Sexual Harassment

Our employment lawyer also regularly handles sexual harassment cases. These cases come in one of two forms. Quid pro quo sexual harassment loosely means “this for that.” Essentially, the harassed party is expected to accept the harassment in exchange for continuing employment, getting a raise, or something else. Victims feel as if they have to comply, or they will be retaliated against in some way.

The other form is a hostile work environment. The harasser does not put conditions on accepting the harassment but creates a hostile work environment. This makes it difficult to go to work every day. Many people end up quitting, so they don’t have to work in a hostile environment.

If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, you might be eligible for damages such as past and future lost wages and emotional distress. The court can even award you damages for your attorney’s fees. Along with getting damages, filing a claim is a way to hold the perpetrator accountable for his or her actions. When you take a stand against sexual harassment, you show others that this behavior is not tolerated. You aren’t just standing up for yourself. You are standing up for others in your position.

Wrongful Termination

Employers and employees typically enter into an “at-will” relationship. That means the employee can quit, or the employer can fire the person at will, without providing justification. However, this is not always the case. Employers occasionally wrongfully terminate their employees. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, you can file suit.

Examples of wrongful termination include firing someone due to discrimination or as a means to retaliate for a whistleblower claim. Employers also cannot fire an employee without reason when a contract is in place, stating that employees cannot be fired without just cause.

These cases can be complicated. You might not know if you have a wrongful termination case. Call us for a confidential consultation with our employment lawyer to find out if you have a case.

Non-compete and Confidentially Agreements

Many employers ask their employees to sign non-compete and confidentially agreements. Many people sign on the dotted line without understanding their rights or what the agreements entail. If you have to sign such an agreement, it’s wise to have an employment lawyer look over it first. Failing to do so could cause you to give up your rights as an employee. With a confidential consultation, we make it easy to find out how to move forward. After you get legal advice from our employment lawyer, you will have confidence in your decision.

Experienced Rochester Employment Lawyer on Your Side

The Cimino Law Firm has more than two decades of experience fighting for employee rights in New York. Our employment lawyer has dealt with a variety of situations, including wrongful termination, discrimination, wage and hour claims, and retaliation. While each case is unique, one thing remains the same. Employers must follow the law, and when they don’t, they need to be brought to justice.

When you choose The Cimino Law Firm, you get more than experience, although that is a top reason to choose us. We also make the process as easy for you as possible.

We understand that many people dealing with employment law cases are concerned about upfront costs. No one wants to pay to find out if they have a good case. Our firm offers confidential consultations for all of our clients. This initial consultation takes place over the phone, so you don’t even have to come in.

We also make the process easy by offering two convenient locations for our clients. You can visit us at our Webster office or our Rochester office. You will speak with an employment lawyer regardless of the office you choose.

So much of your identity is created by your job. If you have an employment law issue, you are burdened with stress and confused about what the future will bring. We understand your concerns and the emotions you feel. Let us help you move through this and get the desired outcome.

Contact experienced Rochester employment lawyer Michelle Cimino for a confidential phone consultation today. All calls are confidential.

Employment Discrimination in New York

You are, by all accounts, an excellent employee. You show up to work on time, and you excel at your job. However, you’ve noticed that your employer does not treat you fairly.

Maybe you are dealing with harassment, or you don’t get as many raises as less-qualified employees do.

You might have trouble moving up in your workplace even though you have the qualifications, or maybe you have also been fired for no good reason.

If this sounds like you, you could be a victim of employment discrimination. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience in employment law, and she will fight on your behalf. Call The Cimino Law Firm for a confidential consultation today.

What Types of Employment Discrimination Exist?

New York and the federal government have put laws in place to protect people against employment discrimination. Unfortunately, employers do not always adhere to the rules. Many employers break the laws and discriminate against their employees. This occurs when they discriminate against a protected class. Some of the most common forms of discrimination include:

  • Race discrimination
  • Age discrimination
  • Religious discrimination
  • LGBT discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • National origin discrimination
  • Gender discrimination

What is Race Discrimination?

The New York Human Rights Law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 strictly prohibit race discrimination. Employees cannot be treated differently based on race. They also cannot be fired or lose out on employment opportunities based on their race. If you have suffered this type of employment discrimination, seek legal help.

What is Age Discrimination?

The New York Human Rights Law and the federal Age Discrimination Act prohibited age discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate against any workers over the age of 40. That includes refusing to hire someone based on his or her age or failing to provide the same opportunities and wages.

What is Religious Discrimination?

Religious discrimination is deemed illegal in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New York Human Rights Law. Examples of religious discrimination include refusing to recruit or hire people of a particular religion or making it more difficult for people of specific faiths to advance at work.

What is LGBT Discrimination?

New York is ahead of the federal government regarding LGBT discrimination. While there are no federal protections in place, New Yorkers are not allowed to discriminate against LGBT employees. That includes placing unreasonable demands on men and women who are transitioning or allowing verbal harassment of LGBT employees.

What is Disability Discrimination?

Sadly, many disabled Americans faced discrimination in the workplace. Fortunately, the New York Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act give these men and women legal recourse when they suffer from discrimination. For example, some employers fire people after they miss work for a disability-related reason. This is against the law.

What is National Origin Discrimination?

Employers are also held accountable if they discriminate against people due to their national origin. The New York Human Rights Law and the Civil Rights Act make this a crime. Employees who receive unfavorable treatment due to their national origin can bring suit against the employer.

What is Gender Discrimination?

The New York Human Rights Law, the Equal Pay Act, and the Civil Rights Act make it clear that it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of his or her gender. For example, an employer cannot pay a woman less than a man if they both have the same skills, education, experience, and job title. An employer also cannot refuse to hire someone because she is pregnant or to fire her for taking medical leave due to pregnancy.

Is Discrimination Limited to Illegal Hiring and Firing Practices?

Most people view employment discrimination as firing or failing to hire someone based on a protected status. Those are both examples of employment discrimination, but the law includes other forms of prejudice as well. If you have been a victim of any workplace discrimination, seek legal help immediately.

What is a Hostile Work Environment?

A hostile work environment can be a form of discrimination. For instance, if an employee calls someone a racial slur, and the employer fails to intervene, this is discrimination. The employer has allowed a hostile work environment to take over. It is nearly impossible for that employee to work at that location because of the hostility.

Are English-only Policies Employment Discrimination?

Some companies instill English-only policies that are unnecessary and discriminatory. While it is understandable for an employer to require employees to speak English when interacting with customers, refusing to allow employees to converse in their native tongues is unreasonable and discriminatory. Those who have dealt with this problem can file a claim against their employers.

Are Dress Codes Employment Discrimination?

Dress codes can also be a form of employment discrimination. Employers are expected to make reasonable accommodations for employees based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. That includes allowing employees to wear religious garb at work. Failure to do so is a form of discrimination.

Is Separating Employees Discrimination?

Some employers group employees based on race, national origin, age, or religious practices. This is a form of discrimination. Employees should not be segregated based on a protected status. Not only is this discrimination, but it can be dangerous. It creates an “us versus them” mentality and could create a hostile work environment.

What Are Illegal Recruitment Practices?

Some employees discriminate in their recruitment practices. They create ads geared toward a specific race, gender, age, or religious status. For instance, an employer might create an ad for people aged 40 and under. This is yet another example of employment discrimination.

Is Unequal Pay Employment Discrimination?

The gender pay gap is a serious problem in New York and the rest of the country. Women earned just 85 percent of what their male counterparts made in 2018. That means women would have to spend an extra 39 days at work to bring home the same annual pay.

New York has worked to close the pay gap. In the past, New York women were required to earn the same pay for equal work. Now, the language has been changed to “substantially similar work.” When an employer still chooses to pay a woman less, he or she has discriminated against the employee. The victim might be eligible for back pay and other damages.

Protecting Yourself Against Discrimination

If you have been a victim of employment discrimination, consider filing a claim with your employer. Your company should list the protocol for filing a claim in the manual or handbook. If your employer refuses to correct the problem, it’s time to talk to a lawyer.

Schedule a confidential phone consultation with The Cimino Law Firm. During the meeting, you will go over the evidence you have to support your claim. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of evidence yet. Your lawyer should be able to tell you if you have a cause for a claim.

If you do, you can take the next step and visit the office in Webster or Rochester. Bring your evidence with you during your visit. Then The Cimino Law Firm will begin investigating your case. This might include interviewing other people at your place of business and requesting work-related documents.

Then your lawyer can file a claim against your company. Depending on the demand, you might be able to collect economic and noneconomic damages.

Those who abuse the law should be held accountable. It doesn’t matter if your employer is a small company or a huge corporation. He or she does not have the right to discriminate against you. Contact us today to schedule your confidential phone consultation to go over your employment discrimination claim.

Wrongful Termination in New York

Most employees enter an “at-will” contract with their employers. That means their employers can fire them for any reason, even if it’s absurd. However, wrongful termination can still occur in this state.

Even though employers have the right to fire employees in most circumstances, that right is removed in some instances. Learn more about wrongful termination in New York, and if you are a victim, contact The Cimino Law Firm. We offer confidential phone consultations and can tell you if you have a case against your employer.

What Are Examples of Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination occurs when people are fired due to employment discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract. In each of these cases, the employer does not have the legal right to fire an employee.

Employment Discrimination

State and federal laws have established protected classes in New York and the United States. This protects employees from discrimination. Even though New York is an at-will state, it is against the law to fire an employee due to discrimination.

Examples of protected classes include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Veteran status
  • Genetic information
  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual identity

While New York protects LGBT rights, there is an exception to this law. Some religious establishments, such as religious private schools, can fire LGBT employees. However, the meaning of religious protection law is still being argued. Even if you work for a religious organization, contact The Cimino Law Firm. We will go over your cased and see if you have a claim.


As an employee, you have rights that are protected under state and federal law. These rights include:

  • Reporting illegal activity at the workplace
  • Taking legally-allowed leave
  • Filing a worker’s compensation claim
  • Filing a sexual harassment claim
  • Participating in an investigation related to illegal activities at your workplace
  • Participating in a lawsuit after a claim is filed

Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you if you engage in any of these protected activities. However, employers often retaliate by firing their employees. If your termination was a direct result of your participation in a protected activity, you could file a wrongful termination suit. You might receive damages, and you could even get your job back. Also, your claim will show employers that retaliation is an unwise decision.

Breach of Contract

While New York is an “at-will” state, some employees enter into contracts. These contracts stipulate that the employees cannot be fired without just cause. Most employers adhere to the terms of the agreement, but others do not. If your employer has broken the contract and fired you, that is a wrongful termination.

Your employer might try to prove that he or she had just cause to fire you. You should collect evidence related to your job performance before filing a wrongful termination claim. This will help The Cimino Law Firm prove that you were fired without just cause and deserve compensation.

What Damages are Available for Wrongful Termination Cases?

Courts determine damages for wrongful termination on a case by case basis. However, common damages include:

  • Lost earnings plus interest
  • Lost benefits plus interest
  • Emotional distress
  • Legal fees

Punitive damages are also awarded in some cases. Punitive damages are used to punish the employer and deter others from behaving in the same way. These damages are awarded in the most extreme of circumstances. Your wrongful termination attorney will let you know if you are eligible for punitive damages.

How Are Wrongful Termination Cases Proven?

Wrongful termination cases are among the most difficult to prove since employers have the right to fire employees under most circumstances. Fired employees must show that their removal was due to discrimination, retaliation, or a breach of contract. Breach of contract is the easiest to substantiate because it requires the employer to show just cause.

However, since just cause is not needed in other cases, the employee must prove that the employer would not have fired another employee for the same reason. To better understand this, look at examples of illegal and legal termination.

Assume you work at a company where employees are routinely late. You are always on time. One day, though, you walk in five minutes late, and your boss promptly fires you. He or she didn’t as much as reprimand the other late employees. You are 60 years old and believe that you were fired based on your age. This is a case of age discrimination.

On the other hand, assume that everyone else at work is always on time. No one has ever even late. You are a full hour late, miss an important meeting, and get fired. It will be challenging to prove that you were fired because of your age.

Now let’s assume you are pregnant, and your boss is openly hostile about it. He or she continually complains about the amount of work you’ll miss when you have the baby. Right before you’re due, your boss fires you for no apparent reason. This is possible discrimination due to your pregnancy.

On the other hand, assume that you are pregnant and your performance begins to slip. You miss deadlines, and your boss has written you up for poor performance. After your third write up, your boss fires you. This is due to your performance. You can be fired even if you’re in a protected class, but that cannot be the reason for the termination.

For the third example, consider that your mother is sick, and you use the Family Medical and Leave Act to take time off to care for her. You come back and your boss promptly fires you. That is likely retaliation because you took leave.

On the other hand, assume you took the leave, you come back to work and don’t perform as well as you should. Your mind is still on your mother, and you can’t concentrate at work. Your boss fires you, but this is not likely retaliation. This is likely due to your poor performance.

As you can see, the cause of the firing must be due to your protected status or a breach of contract. You must prove that your employer broke the law when firing you.

Don’t Fight a Wrongful Termination Case on Your Own

Your employer will argue that you were fired for a good reason, and it had nothing to do with your protected class status. Your employer might say that your performance was deficient, or you were consistently late. You need a strong legal team to fight back against these accusations and prove your case.

Michelle Cimino has more than two decades of experience fighting for the rights of New Yorkers. She has dedicated her career to employment and family law and stays abreast of the latest decisions. She can investigate your case and build the evidence necessary to win in court.

You can begin by scheduling a confidential phone consultation with The Cimino Law Firm. During the phone consultation, you will present the evidence of your case. Your lawyer will explain if you have a case. If you do, you can schedule an appointment at our Webster or Rochester law offices to sign the paperwork, present your evidence, and go over the legal strategy.

Having a job is necessary for your survival. Wrongful termination can turn your life upside down. Fortunately, the courts can help you become whole again. Contact an experienced wrongful termination attorney at The Cimino Law Firm to find out how we can help you with your case.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is illegal in the state of New York and the rest of the country. Sadly, being illegal is not enough to stop the problem. Each year, countless New Yorkers report sexual harassment, and others suffer in silence.

Many people refuse to report sexual harassment because of fear or embarrassment, but The Cimino Law Firm will help you navigate your emotions while holding your harasser accountable. Contact us for a confidential phone consultation. Then we can work to stop the harassment and collect damages.

What Types of Sexual Harassment Exist?

Sexual harassment falls into two categories. Our firm has represented victims of both types. If you have been a victim of one or both types of harassment, we are here for you.

Quid Pro Quo

Quid pro quo is the most common form of sexual harassment. It’s so common that 10.9 percent of New York employees have reported experiencing it at some point in their careers.  Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employee believes he or she must accept the harassment in exchange for something else. This could include:

  • Continuing employment
  • Getting a raise or promotion
  • Not getting demoted

This is often referred to as “this for that” harassment. Employees are often afraid to report quid pro quo harassment out of fear of retribution. Remember that the law is on your side in these cases. You are the victim, and you have the power to hold the perpetrator accountable.

Hostile Work Environment

Sexual harassment can also create a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment can be created due to:

  • Sexually offensive remarks
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Unwanted sexual requests
  • Complimentary or derogatory sexually charged comments
  • Sexual gestures
  • Requests for sexual favors or actions

Many people believe they cannot file a claim if they are not asked for something in return. However, a hostile work environment is reason enough to make a claim. A hostile work environment will impede your job performance. Over time, you might even quit. Protect yourself by filing a sexual harassment claim.

Is Sexual Harassment Just a Women’s Issue?

There is a myth that only women are victims of sexual harassment. However, both men and women deal with quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environments. Almost 10 percent of male New Yorkers have been victims of quid pro quo sexual harassment. Sadly, men are less likely to report this crime. Many are embarrassed, or they are afraid they’ll be teased by their colleagues if they report it. Others think they should just go along with it, and it will eventually go away. However, harassers normally do not stop until their employers or the courts force them to do so.

If you are a male victim of sexual harassment, understand that no one deserves to be harassed. You have the power to hold the harasser accountable. The Cimino Law Firm understands the unique emotions in your case, and we will help you through this process. You might feel as if you don’t have power right now, but we will help you get your power back.

What Types of Damages Can You Recover in Sexual Harassment Cases?

If you’ve suffered from sexual harassment, you have likely lost a great deal. You might have left your job, or even if you stayed, you’ve been subjected to emotional distress. Fortunately, the court system realizes that people who suffer from sexual harassment have economic and noneconomic damages. With more than 20 years of experience bringing perpetrators to justice, The Cimino Law Firm can help you recover damages in your case.

Depending on your specific case, you might be entitled to:

  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Future lost wages
  • Attorney fees and legal costs
  • Damages for emotional distress

The court also awards punitive damages in extreme cases of sexual harassment. Contact our firm to find out which damages you can be awarded for your specific case.

What Should Sexual Harassment Victims Do?

If you’re a victim of sexual harassment, there are steps you can take. Begin by collecting any harassing statements or images. This can be used as evidence in the court of law. If the harassment is verbal, write down what the harasser says to you. This can also be used in court.

You should also collect evidence related to the damages you’ve experienced. For instance, if you’ve begun mental health treatments due to sexual harassment, keep your medical statements.

Next, contact an attorney at The Cimino Law Firm. Our attorney will talk to you about the specifics of the case, including your company’s reporting system. The attorney might advise you to report the problem with your employer to see if they fix it, or the attorney might advise making a claim. Each case is different, so a confidential phone consultation is necessary.

What If My Employer Retaliates Against Me After Reporting Sexual Harassment?

Unfortunately, some employers choose to retaliate against the victim instead of punishing the preparator. Countless people have reported their employers have retaliated by firing or demoting them. Others have made the workplace so hostile after the report that they have no way to continue working there.

Just like sexual harassment, this is illegal. Workplace retaliation is a crime, and you can bring your employer to justice if this happens. Along with handling sexual harassment cases, our firm represents clients in workplace retaliation claims. Don’t let the fear of retaliation prevent you from moving forward. If your employer chooses to retaliate, we will represent you.

Why Choose The Cimino Law Firm?

Choosing a law firm to represent you during a sexual harassment claim is an important decision. You need a compassionate and understanding legal team that also has the experience to fight for your rights in court. The Cimino Law Firm is that firm. Our compassionate legal team will help you deal with the emotions that come up when filing the claim. At the same time, we will use our experience to bring your perpetrator to justice. We have litigated these cases for more than 20 years and have a proven track record of success. We understand how the legal system works and what we need to provide to win these cases.

We also make the process easy for you. We understand that you are just testing the waters right now. You aren’t ready to make an appointment and come into an office. You also aren’t ready to spend money on legal fees. That’s why we offer a confidential phone consultation for our new clients. You will speak to an attorney over the phone. The attorney will take the information and provide you with information about possible outcomes. Then you will understand the next steps and decide if you want to move forward.

If you do, we have two convenient locations. You can come to our Webster or Rochester, New York, offices. Bring your evidence with you during this meeting, so the attorney can review it. Don’t worry if you don’t have much evidence yet. Your attorney will also investigate the case for you. The investigation might include interviewing your coworkers and requesting documents from your employer. Each piece of evidence will help us build a strong case.

Sexual harassment is incredibly painful. It makes you feel powerless and hopeless. We are here to restore what your harasser has taken from you. Contact us for a confidential phone consultation today.

Workplace Retaliation in New York

State and federal laws make it clear that workplace retaliation is a crime. However, countless employers continue to retaliate against their employees. Workplace retaliation claims made up 48.8 percent of all charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2017, illustrating that this is a serious problem.

You are far from alone if you’ve been retaliated against at work. You are one of many, and just like the ones before you, you need legal help.  The Cimino Law Firm has spent more than two decades fighting for employee rights. We understand the complexities of these cases, as well as the emotions involved. You are likely hurt, stressed, and worried about your future. With our help, you can regain your confidence and get back on solid footing.

Know Your Rights – Workplace Retaliation Is a Crime

The state and federal government provide rights to you as an employee. You cannot be retaliated against if you exercise your legal rights. Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for:

  • Reporting sexual harassment or discrimination
  • Participating in a lawsuit for such a claim
  • Reporting illegal activity at your workplace
  • Using sick leave or vacation time

Learn more about the laws and regulations that protect employees against retaliation.

What is Anti-discrimination Retaliation?

Laws such as the New York State Human Rights Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect employees in the United States. When an employer discriminates against one of the protected classes, employees can file a complaint. It is illegal for the employer to retaliate against the employee for filing a claim.

What is Wage-and-hour Retaliation?

New York State Labor Law and the Fair Labor Standard Act entitle employees to a basic minimum wage. These laws also state that employees who work more than 40 hours a week must earn overtime pay. Under the law, employees can report infractions without fear of retaliation. Sadly, many employers do retaliate against these brave employees.

What is Whistleblower Retaliation?

New York state and the federal government protect whistleblowers from retaliation as well. When an employer engages in an illegal activity that impedes the safety of the public, employees can report it without fear. Unfortunately, since the employers are already participating in unlawful activities, many will take the extra step and retaliate against their employees. Remember that the law is on your side in these cases.

What is Family Medical Leave Retaliation?

If you work in a company with more than 50 employees, you are entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You need to have at least one year of continuous employment with that company to take the leave. While this is a guaranteed right, far too many employers take action against employees.

How Do Employers Retaliate?

Workplace retaliation takes many forms. Wrongful termination is a common form of workplace retaliation, but it’s far from the only way employers retaliate against employees. Other types of retaliation include:

  • Giving a poor performance review
  • Demoting the employee
  • Failing to promote the best candidate for the job
  • Reducing hours
  • Reassigning the employee
  • Creating a hostile work environment
  • Removing privileges
  • Assigning less desirable duties or hours
  • Suspending the employee

Workplace retaliation can hurt employees financially. Retaliation causes emotional damages as well, such as stress and depression.

What Are Some Examples of Workplace Retaliation?

Workplace retaliation is very complicated. Many people don’t realize they’ve been a victim of retaliation at the time. They think they caught a bad break. To determine if you’ve been a victim of workplace retaliation, look at some examples.

For the first example, assume you have been working overtime and not getting compensated for it. You report the infraction to officials, and your boss finds out. Right after, your boss fires you. That is a clear case of retaliation.

Now, let’s say you see someone sexually harassing another person at work. You report it to human resources, and the person is promptly fired. You feel good about it until your boss demotes you. This doesn’t make sense because you have already received outstanding reviews. This is another case of retaliation.

Another example would be taking time off work to care for a sick spouse. You fill out all the appropriate paperwork and take your legally-allowed leave. You go back to work, and it’s time for annual raises. You are the only person who doesn’t receive a raise even though you are a top employee. It’s clear that your employer retaliated against you.

These are just some examples of workplace retaliation. If you believe you are a victim of retaliation, seek legal help.

How Do You Prove A Workplace Retaliation Case?

There are three components to proving a workplace retaliation case.

First, you must prove that the adverse action occurred immediately after your employer found out that you engaged in a protected activity. An example of protected activity is taking leave with the Family and Medical Leave Act or reporting discrimination.

Second, you need to prove that the adverse action was based on you engaging in a legally-protected activity. Previous performance reviews are an excellent form of proof. If you’ve always had great performance reviews and suddenly you are demoted or fired, it’s clear that the employer is retaliating.

Third, you need to prove that the employer knew about the protected activity. For instance, you must prove that your employer knew that you reported someone for sexual harassment or took time off using the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employers will try to discredit their employees during the lawsuit. This is to be expected, and a seasoned Rochester workplace retaliation attorney can fight back.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in Workplace Retaliation Lawsuits?

The court system is designed to make people whole again after suffering losses. As a victim of workplace retaliation, you have lost so much, and filing suit can make you complete again.

Damages in these cases can include:

  • Up to $20,000 in damages
  • Payment of lost wages
  • Payment for attorney’s fees
  • Reinstatement of position and seniority

Contact An Experienced Rochester Workplace Retaliation Attorney

Your legal rights are important. You have the right to report illegal activities without retaliation, but that does not mean your employer will follow the law. If your employer retaliates against you, fight back with our help.

We have over 20 years of experience litigating these cases. We stay abreast of all the changes to the law and will help you fight for your rights. Whether you want to try to settle the case out of court or bring full legal action, we are here for you.

We also make it easy to begin the process. We understand that you are going through enough stress right now, so we offer confidential phone consultations for our clients. Pick up the phone, call us, and discuss your case. During the meeting, we can help you determine if you should move forward.

We also have two offices for your convenience. After your consultation, you can stop by our Rochester or Webster, NY, locations to start the process.

You might think that your company is too big to sue. You are just one person against a large company. You might be one person, but when you get our help, the law will be on your side. No company is too big to ignore the rule of law.

Disability Discrimination in New York

If you have been mistreated in the workplace due to a disability, you have suffered from disability discrimination. The federal American with Disabilities Act and the New York Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination of this kind. Under the laws, your employer cannot discriminate against you based on a real or perceived disability and also must make reasonable accommodations to allow you to perform your job functions.

Even with these strict guidelines, countless employers try to get around the law and discriminate against employees. Fortunately, you can fight back with the help of The Cimino Law Firm. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation.

What Is a Disability?

A disability is defined as a mental, physical, or medical condition that creates substantial limitations when engaging in major life activities, such as hearing, learning, or walking. The disability can be current, such as multiple sclerosis, or in the past. For example, if a person had cancer, but it is now in remission, he or she is still protected from disability discrimination. Those who have family members with disabilities are also protected.

What Are Some Examples of Disability Discrimination?

Disability discrimination occurs when someone who is qualified and can perform a job with or without reasonable accommodation is treated unfairly. This happens in many different ways. Look at some of the most common ways employers discriminate against people with disabilities.

Recruitment and Hiring Practices

Disability discrimination often occurs during the recruitment or hiring process. Some employers use language like “seeking able-bodied employees” to weed out disabled applicants. Others ask people about their medical histories during the application process or require that they undergo medical exams before considering them for a job. Employers cannot ask applicants medical questions or require that they take medical exams during the job process.

Disparate Treatment Regarding Medical Exams

Employers are allowed to require employees to take medical exams after extending an offer of employment. They can also ask medical questions. However, the law has put guidelines in place regarding these practices. If an employer requires exams or asks medical issues, the company must do so for each person it hires. A company is committing discrimination if it only requests this for some employees.

Hostile Work Environment

As members of a protected class, people with disabilities cannot legally be subject to harassment in the workplace. This includes off-color jokes, rude comments, and offensive pictures or videos. If it happens once, it is not considered a hostile work environment. However, if the disabled employee is confronted continuously with harassment at work, he or she will have a claim.

Unfair Treatment Due to a Family Member’s Disability

Those who have disabled family members are also protected from disability discrimination. Employers often refuse to hire or promote people who are married to someone with a disability. They claim the employees cannot devote the necessary time to the job. However, this is discrimination.

Failure to Promote Due to Disability

Some employers refuse to promote people with current or past disabilities. The employer might refuse to promote the most qualified employee because of the possibility of missed work due to the disability. Also, the employer might not want someone whose cancer is in remission out of fear that it will come back. Both examples are against the law. If someone can perform the job duties and is the best candidate, he or she should not get passed over due to a disability.

Wrongful Termination

Job-related decisions cannot be made based on a disability, as long as the employee is qualified and able to perform the job functions with or without reasonable accommodation. That includes termination. Some employers fire people after they become disabled, even though they can do their necessary job functions. Others fire people who take protected leave due to the disability. Disability-related absences are considered reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Firing someone due to taking leave is disability discrimination and against the law.

Failing to Provide Reasonable Accommodation

The law makes it clear that employers must provide reasonable accommodation to allow disabled employees to perform their jobs. Sadly, many employers who have the means to accommodate employees still fail to do so. In fact, between the years of 2012-2014, 34 percent of the disability claims filed with the EEOC were due to a lack of reasonable accommodation. It is even worse in New York, where 42 percent of the complaints were filed based on this issue.

What Is Reasonable Accommodation?

There is some confusion regarding what reasonable accommodation means under the law. The law requires that employers provide reasonable accommodation for those who have mental or physical limitations. This means that the employer must make adjustments in the workplace so the employee can perform his or her duties.

The keyword is “reasonable.” The employer must be able to make the accommodation without spending an unreasonable amount of money or causing an unreasonable disruption to the workplace.

Examples of a reasonable accompany include:

  • Adjusting a work schedule
  • Providing disabled employees with additional breaks
  • Ensuring the facility is accessible
  • Modifying training materials
  • Changing policies
  • Buying new equipment

Examples of unreasonable accommodation would be removing essential job functions to allow the employee to work or making another employee take on additional work.

How Do You Prove Disability Discrimination?

You will need evidence to prove a disability discrimination claim. The Cimino Law Firm can help you gather this evidence.

Direct evidence is rare in these cases. Most employers don’t send emails that clearly state that they are discriminating against an employee. Typically, circumstantial evidence is used to prove the claim.

You also need evidence that you were qualified for the position with or without reasonable accommodation. That means you must be able to perform the duties of the job.

Once you gather the evidence, you can file a claim with the state of New York, the federal government, or both. You also have the option to file a suit against your employer.

What Damages Are Available in Disability Discrimination Cases?

If you are a victim of disability discrimination, you have suffered a great deal. You have likely lost money and dealt with pain and suffering.

Fortunately, the courts can make you whole again. You can receive back and front pay, damages for emotional distress, and money for attorney’s fees. If your employer acted maliciously or recklessly, you also might be entitled to punitive damages.

Also, the court might require that your employer rehire you if you have been terminated. If so, your employer will need to make a reasonable accommodation if necessary.

Let The Cimino Law Firm Fight for You

Disability discrimination is not easy to prove. You need a skilled lawyer on your side, gathering evidence and fighting for you. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has dedicated her career to employment law. She has spent more than 20 years of fighting discrimination cases. She understands both state and federal laws and knows how to fight for your rights.

She is more than a warrior for people with disabilities. She and the rest of the firm also help clients deal with the emotions they feel during this difficult time. Being the victim of discrimination is not easy, but you will feel better when you have The Cimino Law Firm on your side.

You can begin the process with a confidential phone consultation. After you talk to an employment lawyer on the phone, you can come to one of our offices. We have offices in Rochester and Webster, NY.

Religious Discrimination in New York

Your religion is a big part of your life. You are proud of your beliefs and do not want to hide who you are just because you are at work. You expect your employer to respect your beliefs and treat you just like everyone else in the workplace. However, that hasn’t happened. You have faced religious discrimination, and now, you aren’t sure what to do. Is it possible to hold your employer accountable?

Religious discrimination is against the law, and you can take action. With more than two decades of experiencing fighting for the rights of employees, The Cimino Law Firm is the right choice for your claim.

Contact us today to schedule a confidential phone consultation.

Are There Laws Against Religious Discrimination?

There are federal and state laws in place that prohibit religious discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly states that companies with 15 or more employees cannot discriminate against people based on their religions. There is an exception if the employer is a religious educational institution or religious organization. These organizations can restrict hiring to members of their faith. However, all other employers cannot do so.

If you work for a smaller organization, you are still protected if you’ve been discriminated against. The New York Human Rights Law prohibits religious discrimination for all companies with four or more employees. This is true even if all employees work from home or in different locations. As long as there are at least four employees, you are protected.

Even with these laws in place, workplace discrimination happens regularly. In 2018 alone, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 2,859 complaints of religious discrimination. Fortunately, The Cimino Law Firm is here to handle cases and bring employers to justice.

What Are The Different Types of Religious Discrimination?

The courts recognize three types of religious discrimination in New York. If your employer has committed one or more of these types of discrimination, you might be entitled to damages.

Disparate Treatment

Disparate treatment refers to treating employees differently based on their religion. This includes:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Assignments
  • Discipline
  • Promotions
  • Salary
  • Benefits

For example, an employer cannot create a job posting that encourages people of a specific faith to apply. Also, an employer cannot deny a promotion to the most qualified person based on his or her religion or pay people of a specific faith more than someone else with the same qualifications and experience. These are just some examples of how employers engage in religious discrimination.

Failure to Provide Religious Accommodation

Employers are legally obligated to provide reasonable religious accommodation for employees. Examples of reasonable accommodation include allowing scheduling changes so an employee can leave work for religious observance or allowing an employee to wear a head covering. Failure to provide such accommodation is a violation of the law.

Employers are only required to provide reasonable accommodation. That means the accommodation cannot pose an undue hardship to the employer. The Cimino Law Firm can help you determine if your employer has failed to provide reasonable accommodation. If the company has not provided a reasonable accommodation, that is a form of religious discrimination, and we can hold your employer accountable.

Religious-based Harassment

Religious-based harassment is also against the law in the state of New York and the rest of the country. Harassment includes being forced to change an aspect of one’s religious beliefs as a condition of employment or dealing with harassing statements. For example, making fun of someone for wearing religious attire is a form of harassment. The harassment must be ongoing to the point of creating a hostile work environment to file a discrimination claim. If you have been harassed, collect evidence, and call our firm.

Lack of Religion – Another Reform of Dissimilation

Many believe that religious discrimination only applies to those who believe in a religion. However, it also applies to those who do not believe in a religion. Employees are required by law to treat each employee equally, regardless of religious belief. That means that atheists should have the same opportunities and receive the same treatment as Christians.

How Should You Handle Religious Discrimination?

If you’ve been a victim of religious discrimination, it’s critical to follow proper protocol. If you are still employed with the company that has discriminated against you, report the incident to your employer. There should be a protocol for reporting such incidents in the employee handbook. Once your employer is alerted to your complaint, he or she has the opportunity to change it.

Many employers fix the problem once it comes to their attention. However, that is not always the case. Some employers continue with discriminatory actions. If that happens to you, you can file a claim.

You can file your claim with a federal agency, a state agency, or both. Many people choose both. You also have the option of filing a lawsuit against your employer. The Cimino Law Firm will go over your legal options with you and help you choose the ones that make the most sense for your case.

What Damages Are Available for Religious Discrimination?

You might be eligible to collect damages when you file a religious discrimination claim. These damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Attorney’s fees

In addition, the courts might award punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish employers who have egregiously acted when discriminating against employees. The damages also warn other employers that the courts take these cases very seriously, and there will be penalties for discriminating against people based on their religious beliefs.

The court also might order the company to reinstate you at your previous position if you were fired. This is less common since most employees do not want to go back to their jobs. It is stressful to enter into a workplace where you have been discriminated against. The Cimino Law Firm understands this and will discuss your wishes with you before taking the case to court.

How Can The Cimino Law Firm Help With Religious Discrimination Claims?

Religious discrimination cases are complicated. Your employer will attempt to prove that he or she did not discriminate against you, and you must prove otherwise. You need to present the right evidence to prove your claim. That’s where The Cimino Law Firm can help.

Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has dedicated her career to employment law. She has more than 20 years of experience settling and litigating religious discrimination cases in both state and federal courts. She knows what evidence the courts require to prove these claims so that she will be an invaluable asset during the case.

Also, Michelle Cimino understands the hardship that her clients face. She has seen people deal with the countless emotions that come up during these cases. When she’s not in court fighting for you, she is by your side, helping you handle the stress of the situation.

Our firm also provides confidential phone consultations for those who have been discriminated against. You don’t have to spend any money upfront or even leave your home to find out if you have a case.

Also, our firm has two convenient locations in Webster and Rochester, New York. You can visit us at either location to move forward with your case.

Begin the process by calling us for your confidential phone consultation.

Age Discrimination in New York

If you’ve been discriminated against based on your age, you likely feel hopeless and helpless and are unsure if you can hold your employer accountable. The law is on your side regarding age discrimination. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers age 40 and over from discrimination as long as the company has at least 20 employees. The New York Human Rights Act takes it even further, protecting employees 18 and older from age discrimination, as long as the company has at least four employees.

The law makes it clear that employers cannot discriminate based on age, but unfortunately, these cases are still common. Sixty-one percent of employees 45 and older have experienced age bias at work. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has spent over two decades fighting for the rights of New York employees. Contact us today for a confidential phone consultation.

How Do You Prove Age Discrimination?

The burden of proof rests with the person filing the age discrimination claim. The Cimino Law Firm will investigate your complaint and gather the necessary evidence. Cases are typically proven with direct evidence, evidence of disparate treatment, or evidence of disparate impact.

Direct Evidence

Direct evidence is rare in these cases, but some claimants do have access to it. Direct evidence can be written or verbal and clearly outlines the discrimination. This could include an email that states that you are losing your job because of your age or being told that you are not eligible for employment because you are too old. If you have direct evidence, submit it to your attorney. This type of evidence makes it clear that discrimination has taken place.

Disparate Treatment

Disparate treatment is a common type of evidence in these cases.  Often, employers treat people differently based on age, and that is illegal in New York. For instance, assume that a 50-year-old and a 25-year-old apply for the same job. The 50-year-old has much more experience, but the employer hires the 25-year-old. This is an example of disparate treatment. Another example is failing to promote an older employee who is more qualified or giving better assignments to younger people to push a senior employee out of a job.

Disparate Impact

Age discrimination lawsuits on the grounds of disparate impact are also common in New York. In these cases, the employer usually doesn’t have discriminatory intent but discriminates against people anyway. For example, assume a company decides to raise all salaries to get them in line with the national average. People in their 40s typically have seniority and make more than their younger colleagues. Because of that, the company gives higher raises to younger people who do not have seniority. While the intention wasn’t to discriminate against others, this is a form of discrimination because it affects older employees.

Is Age Discrimination Just for People Over 40?

Age discrimination is generally thought of as discriminating against someone because they are over the age of 40. However, people under 40 can also suffer from age discrimination. The New York Human Rights Law protects everyone aged 18 and over from this discrimination.

Age discrimination happens against young people all the time. For instance, some employers refuse to hire young employees because they think they will move onto another job quickly. This is a form of age discrimination.

Others refuse to provide training opportunities for young workers. They believe it’s not worth the time or resources since the workers aren’t “mature” enough. This is also age discrimination.

Some employers even refuse to hire young workers because they don’t think they will fit in with a more experienced staff. Again, it is against the law to discriminate against anyone based on age, regardless of the excuse.

What Are The Statute of Limitations for Filing an Age Discrimination Claim?

A statute of limitations is in place for age discrimination claims. If you want to hold your employer accountable, you need to file a claim within one year of the discriminatory action. For example, if someone refused to hire you due to your age on Jan. 1, 2019, you would have to file the claim by Jan. 1, 2020. If possible, don’t wait until the last minute to file the claim, though. The faster you file the complaint, the easier it is to gather evidence and prove age discrimination.

How Do You File an Age Discrimination Claim?

If you are still employed by the company that discriminated against you, you need to file a complaint with your employer. Your employee handbook should have a procedure to follow. Most likely, you will need to file a complaint with the human resources department. Once your employer is notified of the claim, it will have the opportunity to correct the problem.

Sadly, employers often do not fix employment discrimination problems. When that happens, you can take legal action.

You have two options for taking legal action. You can file a claim under the ADEA or the New York Human Rights Law. If you choose to file under the ADEA, you have to begin with an administrative complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC has 60 days to look into the case. If your claim is validated, you can sue your employer in federal court.

If you want to file your claim under the New York Human Rights Law, you do not have to file a complaint with the EEOC. Instead, you can take your case directly to court.

While you can choose to file a claim with the federal or state government, you also have the option of filing claims with both. Our legal team will assist you in determining the best way to move forward with your case.

What Damages Are Available in Age Discrimination Cases?

The damages depend on where you file your claim. If you choose the federal court, you can recover:

  • Lost earnings
  • Future wages
  • Lost benefits

If the employer intentionally violated the law, you might be able to recover double the damages. That means if you lost $20,000 in wages, you could recover $40,000.

If you file your case in the state’s court system, you can recover lost earnings, future wages, and lost benefits. You can also recover damages for emotional distress. New York State law doesn’t allow you to recover double the damages, even if the action was intentional.

Let The Cimino Law Firm Fight for You

The law might be on your side with your employment discrimination case, but that doesn’t mean these cases are easy to prove. You need to gather evidence, file a claim, and possibly argue in court. This is difficult and time-consuming, and unless you understand the law, you are unlikely to get the results you want.

The Cimino Law Firm has argued cases just like yours for more than 20 years. We understand both federal and New York state employment discrimination laws, and we can help you.

We make the process as easy as possible for our clients. You’ve already been through so much, so you don’t want to spend lots of money on a consultation. You can call us and schedule a confidential phone consultation. During the phone call, you will provide us with background information about your claim. A lawyer will explain if you have a claim and then go over potential strategies.

Then it will be time to visit one of our conveniently located offices. You can go to our Rochester or Webster location to sign the paperwork and begin the legal process.

We look forward to helping you file your claim and recover damages.

Gender Discrimination in New York

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 confidential 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?

The Cimino Law Firm has handled countless gender discrimination cases for our clients. While employers discriminate in many different ways, most cases fall into one of eight categories.

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.

Unequal Pay

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.

Position Discrimination

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

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.

Responsibility Discrimination

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.

Promotion Discrimination

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

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.

Termination Discrimination

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 gendiscrimination 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 confidential 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 confidential phone consultation today.

National Origin Discrimination in New York

The United States is known as a melting pot where different cultures can feel comfortable and enjoy the same opportunities. Both the federal government and the state of New York have anti-discrimination laws in place to ensure those opportunities are granted. Sadly, some employers discriminate against people based on national origin. If you’re a victim of national origin discrimination, you are likely dealing with a multitude of emotions. You might be angry, frightened, hurt, and even confused. Why would someone discriminate against you based on your national origin?

First, it’s essential to understand that you are far from alone. In 2016, close to 10,000 people filed national origin discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Second, it’s crucial to understand you aren’t alone in this fight, either. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has dedicated more than 20 years to fighting for employee’s rights. The Cimino Law Firm will be your advocate during the legal process.

Contact us today for a confidential phone consultation.

What Are Some Examples of National Origin Discrimination?

The laws clearly state that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on national origin when hiring, firing, or employing them. However, it can be difficult for employees to know when they are being discriminated against, so they are unsure if they should take legal action. Look at some of the common discriminatory practices that some employers in New York engage in to better understand this issue. Keep in mind that these are just some examples of discrimination.

English-only Policies

Some companies have English-only policies to ensure the efficient or safe operation of the business. When that is the case, these policies are legal. However, some employers put these policies in place to prevent people from different countries or backgrounds from working at the company. When the policy is put in place for discriminatory reasons, the employee can file a claim against the employer.

Hiring Practices

Far too many employers engage in national origin discrimination when hiring employees. They might advertise jobs in a way that excludes work-authorized immigrants or natural citizens of immigrant parents. Some even throw out applications based on a person’s last name. For instance, if an employer notices an application with a Hispanic-sounding name, he or she might throw it in the garbage. If you are highly qualified for a job but never got called in for an interview or did not get hired, it could be a case of work discrimination.

Unequal Pay

Many people are familiar with the gender pay gap in this country. Sex discrimination laws prohibit employers from paying women less than men. The same is true for citizens and people from other countries. If an American citizen and a work-authorized immigrant do the same job, have the same skills, and have the same experience, they should receive equal pay. If there is a disparity in pay, it is like due to national origin discrimination.

Isolation or Segregation

National origin discrimination can also take the form of isolation or segregation. Some companies isolate or segregate people from other countries and refuse to allow them to interact with the customers. This is not based on merit or the skills the employee has and is not permitted in the workplace.

Work Authorization Documents

New York is filled with work-authorized immigrations. These men and women have the right to work, raise families, and live in the United States. The immigrants have documents that prove their work-authorized status. While the employer can see these documents, they cannot ask for additional verification documents. This presents an undue hardship on the employees and is against the law.

Some employers take this even a step further by only asking non-Caucasian applicants to provide documents related to their right to work. Employers must treat each applicant and employee equally, regardless of skin color or national origin.

Hostile Work Environment

National origin discrimination can also create a hostile work environment. This includes slurs, teasing, and threats to employees with different national origins. A single act of harassment is typically not enough to file a claim. However, if you are constantly harassed to the point that you work in a hostile environment, you can hold your employer accountable.

Association Discrimination

Some employees experience what is referred to as national origin association discrimination. They are treated differently because of their spouse’s national origin or groups they are associated with, outside of the workplace. This is also against the law.


National origin discrimination also occurs when people are fired based on their national origin. For instance, if a company has to lay off 20 percent of its workers and only fires those from a specific national origin. That is discrimination.

What If the National Origin Is Only Perceived?

Many people think they cannot file a claim for national origin discrimination if they are merely perceived to be from a specific country. For instance, an employee who was born and raised in the United States might think he or she cannot make a claim after being mistreated due to the employer’s perception. Countless employees are discriminated against based on their perceived national origins. You do not have to be from another country to make a claim.

How Do You File A Discrimination Claim?

Since both the federal and state governments have laws against national origin discrimination, you can file a claim with both. To move your claim forward, you can file it with the EEOC or the New York Division of Human Rights.

You also have the option to sue your employer for engaging in national origin discrimination. You might be entitled to:

  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Punitive damages

The court also might provide injunctive relief. Along with ordering the employer to avoid engaging in discrimination again, this relief can include reinstatement at your previous position if you were fired.  If you are still employed and your employer refused to give you a promotion based on your national origin, the court can order your employer to promote you.

Many of our clients are concerned about injunctive relief. They are worried about returning to a hostile work environment. Let us know if you would prefer to avoid injunctive relief when filing your claim.

Why Choose The Cimino Law Firm for Your Claim?

You have already been through so much. The stress has gotten to you, and you need a compassionate legal team on your side. Michelle Cimino and The Cimino Law Firm will help you through the intense emotions that you feel. At the same time, our firm will use the law to hold your employer accountable. Justice is vital in these cases, and we will put all of our resources into fighting for you.

We have offices in Webster and Rochester, New York, so it is easy to visit us. You don’t need to visit our office to get started, though. We offer confidential phone consultations for national origin discrimination cases. Contact us to go over the facts of your case. Then we will let you know if you have a claim and provide a strategy for moving forward. That strategy will be based on more than 20 years of experience litigating these cases.

Begin the process by calling us today.

About The Cimino Law Firm

Attorney Michelle Cimino is the founder and leader of The Cimino Law Firm. She has been serving her clients with excellence since 1997. She specializes in family law and divorce and separation cases. In addition, she is familiar with child custody, child support, and employment and labor disputes.

Attorney Michelle Cimino became licensed to practice law in New York in 1997. She graduated cum laude from Nazareth College in 1991. Next, she received her JD from Syracuse University, where she also graduated cum laude in 1995. She is a member of the New York Bar association. In addition, she is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association. She is also a member of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

She has received accolades from her clients for her fearlessness and grit. Her clients have also praised her determination in the face of opposing attorney and judges.

Attorney Michelle Cimino also works frequently on employment law cases. Call her first if you’ve been mistreated at work. Her areas of expertise include wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and contract negotiations.

We hope you found our New York employment law guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions about your rights as an employee, please don’t hesitate to contact us today to arrange a confidential consultation.

At The Cimino Law Firm we strive to provide the legal guidance you need, and the personalized attention you deserve.

2 thoughts on “New York Employment Law Guide

  1. Teresa “Tess” Dancause says:

    I have contacted your firm several times regarding my desire for you to represent me as I go forward with a lawsuit against from former employer, the Marcus Whitman Central School District.
    Besides working in an extremely hostile environment, I endured discrimination based on my sexual identity as a lesbian, retaliation in terms of reassignment, not being assigned extra positions/paid workshops and/or conferences, a poor evaluation, and other examples. I was accused of wanting a future romantic relationship with a 7th grade boy, as well as inappropriately massaging the back of a 6th grade boy’s head while in class and at least 20 of his peers were present. Over the last five years, the trauma inflicted upon me by the administration of this school district was unbearable. They even went so far in one incident as to place me on Admission leave for my behavior; personally driving me home from school and dropping me off/leaving me in the driveway to what they thought was my empty apartment based on their beliefs that I was under the influence of drugs, rather then experiencing a neurological episode equivalent to a TIA stoke which was my reality that day. The other examples of situations that have occurred are also just as extreme as the aforementioned. I have witnesses willing to testify, all documents saved that will prove the escalation of trauma inflicted upon me, and am ready and willing to go to the press and/or make this claim against the school district and their coverups very public.
    Please consider setting an appointment to meet with me and further discuss my case. I trust that you will assist me in seeking justice and righting my name.

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