Various forms of discrimination in employment situations have garnered much attention and rightfully so. Employers have leverage in the vast majority of New York workplace relationships, and an unscrupulous boss can place a worker in an untenable position. Without a legal remedy, the employee would be faced with the unpleasant reality of accepting poor working conditions because complaining would likely result in termination. However, current laws tend to protect certain categories of workers over others.
Construction companies in New York are required to pay workers on public projects a predetermined hourly rate. This prevailing wage is set by local authorities, and in New York City, it is established by the Office of the City Comptroller. Failing to pay the prevailing wage can lead to criminal sanctions including jail time, which is what happened recently in a case involving the owner of a Long Island contractor.
New York-based Goldman Sachs was accused of workplace discrimination on June 5 in a lawsuit filed by one of its former vice presidents. The 31-year-old man clams that he was terminated after speaking up about the way LGBT workers were treated at the company. A Goldman Sachs representative denied the allegations, which he described as meritless.
Despite the rise of the #MeToo movement and public exposure of prominent sexual harassers, many women in New York and around the country fear to report inappropriate behavior, although some have come forward about their experiences in the workplace. Even when they do, they are sometimes criticized for taking time before reporting the issues. Some believe that all employees need to do is report the problem in order to solve it. In reality, retaliation is a very serious concern.