The Big Apple has a law to protect you in the workplace

Perhaps you were born and raised in New York City or maybe you are one of multitudes whose childhood included dreams of one day traveling to Madison Square Garden or a surrounding area to go to school, launch a business, get married and raise a family or just plant some roots and see what life would have in store. It’s true that NYC has a constant ebb and flow of tourists, and it’s also true that many guests eventually become permanent residents.  

Chances are, if you live in NYC, you work there as well. The Big Apple has a specific law that protects you from unlawful discrimination in the workplace. The more you know about the law the better off you’ll be if a problem ever arises. If you currently happen to be facing a workplace struggle, you may want to research the NYC Human Rights Law a bit further to see if it applies to your situation.  

Understand the basic facts 

The good news is that you don’t have to feel helpless if your employer is treating you unjustly and it’s affecting your ability to do your job. There are definite steps you can take to rectify the problem. First, consider the following information regarding the NYC Human Rights Law: 

  • Employers who have four or more workers are bound to adhere to the regulations set forth in the NYC Human Rights Law although certain provisions address situations where there are less than four workers as well.
  • The law protects workers from facing discrimination as part of a certain classified group.
  • The law prohibits employers from discriminating against or retaliating against an employee because he or she happens to belong to one of the classified groups.
  • The NYC Human Rights Law covers all bases in the workplace, from hiring and firing to disciplinary actions, benefits, performance evaluations, promotions and more.
  • Your employer can’t single you out, pass you by for promotion or otherwise treat you unfairly based on your skin color, age, gender, marital status, religion, employment or immigration status or any other personally identifying characteristic.

Let’s say you get a new job (or even have been working at the same place for years) and your boss calls you into the office to say your services are no longer needed. It strikes you as odd that this incident occurred only a few days after sharing the news of your pregnancy with your employer. Coincidence? Perhaps, not! 

This is the type of unlawful behavior the NYC Human Rights Law protects you against on the job. Employers who violate the NYC Human Rights Law may be subject to penalties. You might try discussing the matter with your boss to see what exactly the issue might be and what you can do to fix the problem. If they are resistant or unwilling to give a firm reason or rationale, you may have a claim. 

Regardless of the details in your particular situation (whether pregnancy-related or some other factor) you can reach out for support from those who can help you because the law is on your side.

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New York County Lawyers Association
New York City Bar
NELA Advocates for Employee Rights National Employment Lawyers Association
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