Workplace Discrimination Legislation Defined by an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

hands on computer keyboard Employment Discrimination LawyerWith the assistance of an employment discrimination lawyer, it’s possible for people to define their rights as an employee. Anyone who believes that their rights have been violated by an employer may contact the Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. As part of a Bronx employment discrimination law firm with a solid track record, these attorneys have the knowledge, skill and experience t help you fight discrimination.

Federal Laws and the EEOC

The laws of the U.S. guarantee that everyone has the right to work. A large part of those laws are directed toward protecting people from discrimination. Broadly, everyone in America is protected from workplace discrimination. A federal government department known as the EEOC is charged with enforcing the majority of these laws while the Department of Justice or another agency may oversee others. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Laws against employment discrimination are constantly evolving. One of the earliest and most important of these acts is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is one of the most recognized statutes designed to protect employees from discrimination. According to Title VII, no employer may discriminate against an employee based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex

Accordingly, your employer cannot make a hiring decision based on your gender, nor can they bar people of a certain religion from being considered for employment. Employers are also directed to “reasonably accommodate” the religious practices of employees as long as no undue hardship is placed on the business. Moreover, Title VII precludes employers from retaliating against employees who file or participate in a discrimination claim. With its broad protections against discrimination it’s easy to see why many other laws reflect Title VII. As broad as Title VII was, it needed refinement. In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was added to protect women from discrimination based on pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy. This amendment meant that women could not be fired or retaliated against simply because they were pregnant.

Other Federal Legislation

Another important law was enacted in 1963. This law guaranteed equal pay for men and women who perform the same responsibilities. Other significant legislation came into being in 1967 with the passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Any employee aged 40 or older may not be discriminated against based on their age. Thus, an employer cannot fire you solely because you are 65. Doing so would likely result in a claim of age discrimination with the assistance of an employment discrimination lawyer.

Protection for Americans with Disabilities

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 marked another important protection against discrimination. This law prohibits employers from making hiring, firing and other personnel decisions based upon a person’s mental or physical disability. Employers are also called upon to make reasonable accommodations to make it possible for a person with a disability to perform their work. Essentially, the law recognizes that a qualified individual with a disability is as viable as an employee as one without a disability and an employer cannot decide to hire one candidate over the other solely based on the disability of the rejected applicant.

When the Law Doesn’t Apply

These laws and others like them are important to every American. However, it’s important to understand that all employers are not covered by these laws. For instance, small businesses that have 15 or fewer employees may not be subject to all of these statutes. Figuring out which laws apply to your employer is relatively complicated, which is another reason why it makes a great deal of sense to consult with a knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyer. It’s also helpful to know that the state of New York imposes its own anti-discrimination laws. Some of the protected statuses under state law include:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Military status
  • Political activities
  • Criminal accusations
  • Lawful recreational activities engaged in outside of work hours

Accordingly, people living and working in New York may have protections over and above those that are offered by the federal government. This means that even more employees are protected against unlawful discrimination. While your employer may not be covered by a federal law because of their small size New York state law may still apply, enabling you to make a claim against them. Proving employment discrimination isn’t always easy. In most cases, it’s necessary for the employment discrimination lawyer to conduct an exhaustive investigation in an attempt to collect evidence. While these claims may require time, an experienced attorney has the knowledge required to streamline the process as much as possible.

Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

If you think you may have been discriminated against by an employer, contact an employment discrimination lawyer at the Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr., at (877) 440-0854.

 

 

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Our Bronx Employment Law Firm Discusses the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Coworkers with a workload Bronx Employment Law FirmOur Bronx employment law firm is often asked what the rights of a small business or company are when it comes to preventing computer fraud. While a company has the right to monitor any business sites, some employers take their rights too far and cite the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act against employees in an effort to intimidate them into dropping a discrimination claim.

Original Intent of the CFAA

The original law, passed in 1984, was worded differently from current laws and was designed to protect government and banking information. However, it only addressed hacking from unauthorized users and did not address authorized users. Later amendments updated the laws and broadened their scope of authority. Our Bronx employment law firm can provide you with additional information on how these laws could affect you.

Current Application of CFAA Laws

Employers can now use the CFAA under the following conditions:

  • If an employee exceeds his or her scope of authority by accessing unauthorized content, especially if said content involved national or foreign matters If the employee accessed the computer with the intent to defraud and if he or she gained valuable information as a result or
  • If the employee causes knowing or intentional damage to a computer that results in loss after the transmission of a command, code, information or program. The main point of the legislation is that an employee should stay within the parameters of authorized use for an employer’s computer. He or she can avoid possible litigation by:
  • No longer using company computers if he or she no longer works there
  • Using work computers only for their intended use and not exceeding his or her scope of authority and
  • Not sharing any confidential or company information or proprietary trade secrets.

Contact Our Bronx Employment Law Firm

If you have questions about computer fraud and your legal rights, call our Bronx employment law firm, The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr., at (877) 440-0854.

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A Bronx Employment Attorney on Getting Fired for Sick Days

Bronx Employment Attorney Hispanic Businesswoman A Bronx employment attorney at The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. often speaks with people who have been fired for using too many sick days or for taking sick leave from work. In some cases, it is allowable for your employer to fire you for taking sick days off from work. In others, such terminations run counter to the employment laws of New York. Your Bronx employment attorney will review your case to determine whether your firing appears to be an illegal one, and if so, they may agree to take your case.

At-Will Employment Versus Employment Under a Contract

If you do not have a contract under which you work, New York will apply the at-will standard to your employment. At-will employment means that your employer may fire you for any reason, as long as the reason is a legal one. This means that if your sick days caused poor attendance, they can fire you for the attendance problems. If your employment runs according to a contract, however, your employer must follow that contract as the conditions for discharge are outlined by it. A contract may be for a union. Even if you are not a union member, though, if your employer has a manual in which discharge reasons and procedures are outlined, it may be considered to be a contract by a court.

Prohibited Terminations Based on Status

Under New York law, your employer may not terminate you for certain prohibited reasons. Among these prohibited bases is your disability status. If your employer terminated your job because of your specific illness, then you may be able to sue them. Your employer is required to reasonably accommodate you to allow you to work despite your disability. If they refused to do so, then they may be held liable.

Prohibited Terminations for Taking Leave Protected under the Family Medical Leave Act

For certain businesses having 50 or more employees, the federal Family Medical Leave Act, FMLA, allows workers to take sick leave to care for themselves or for a close relative or child. To be covered under the FMLA, the employee must have been working at a business that is also covered under the law for a minimum of one year. They must also have worked more than 1,250 in that year, and the business must have at least 50 employees working for it within a radius of 75 miles.

Contact a Bronx Employment Attorney

If you have been terminated for taking too many sick days, you may want to get help from an employment attorney. An attorney may be able to review the facts of your case to determine whether any state or federal laws were broken by your employer. If it appears they have, your attorney may then draft and file your civil complaint with the appropriate courts and agencies. They may also depose witnesses and negotiate with other attorneys in order to help you to recover maximum damages. To contact a Bronx employment attorney, call The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. at (877) 440-0854.

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Our Bronx Employment Lawyer Recommends You Don’t Discuss Your Case

man on laptop Bronx Employment LawyerAlthough your case will comprise an important part of your life for a significant period of time, your Bronx employment lawyer will caution you about discussing your case with others. Here are a few things to keep in mind about communicating about your case.

Do Not Use Employer’s Communication Devices

Since people spend a great deal of time at their employer’s place of business, they may be accustomed to communicating in this area. However, a Bronx employment lawyer will caution you not to use your employer’s communication devices to discuss your employment case. Your employer is likely the legal owner of the device and may have the right to monitor these communications. Many businesses keep a log of outgoing and incoming phone calls, and faxes and emails may be stored. Using your employer’s communication devices can reveal the confidential and privileged communications between you and your Bronx employment lawyer.

Do Not Discuss Your Case with Anyone Else

Only communicate with your Bronx employment lawyer about your case. Other communications that you have with other individuals are not privileged and will not be protected. If you talk about your case with others, you will likely have to reveal this information during the discovery process, such as in the interrogatories or during a deposition. This may result in other depositions being taken of the people with whom you discussed your case. This can wind up costing you more money to litigate your case. Additionally, this can severely damage your case. For example, a colleague may try to get information from you, pretending to be a sympathetic friend. He may then use this information to leverage a promotion with the company. Alternatively, a colleague may ask how much you would be willing to settle your case for and then give this information to the employer. Even if your Bronx employment attorney thinks that your case may be worth more, the employer may only offer the amount you stated because he or she knows you will accept it. A romantic partner may betray a confidence if the relationship goes south, such as telling the employer the strengths and weaknesses of the case, identifying star witnesses or listing individuals who have adverse information about the claim. In some situations, there may be no ill intentions, such as self-gain, greed or revenge. Sometimes information may simply lead back to the employer as office gossip.

Seek Legal Assistance from Our Bronx Employment Lawyer

For more information regarding what and how to communicate about your case, contact a Bronx employment lawyer from The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. by calling (877) 440-0854.

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Bronx Employment Lawyer Explains How to File a Discrimination Claim

justice gavel and laptop Bronx Employment LawyerBronx employment lawyer Delmas A. Costin Jr. is often asked how people file a discrimination claim when they experienced workplace discrimination. Discrimination is prohibited both federally and in the state. Bronx labor laws define what is considered to be prohibited discrimination. Guidance is also provided for how to file a claim.

What Discrimination Is

Both employers and state agencies are prohibited from discriminating against you for specified prohibited reasons. In addition to those reasons, it is also against the law to discriminate against a person just because they filed a complaint or filed a lawsuit against the employer or the state agency that provides services. Discrimination occurs when someone acts in a manner that negatively impacts you due to a prejudice or a preference. It is prohibited by Bronx labor laws if such action is based on your race, age, gender, religion, genetics, disability, national origin, political beliefs, belief or affiliation, record of convictions and arrests, marital status, carrier status, sexual orientation, veteran status or retaliation. Federal labor laws further prohibit discrimination against people based on their status as a legally admitted immigrant.

Examples of Discriminatory Actions

An action is discriminatory if it has a negative impact. This can include a negative employment action at any stage, including during the hiring process, layoffs, firings, salary, bonuses, benefits and vacation and sick time accrual. Delays or denials of service for a prohibited purpose is also a discriminatory action.

What to Include in Your Discrimination Complaint

It is important that your complaint is thorough and provides all of the needed information. You should include your name, address, and telephone number as well as the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all those who witnessed the discriminatory action or behavior. You also need to include the name of the agency or person that discriminated against you along with their contact information. When describing the discriminatory action, you need to describe when it occurred, how it occurred, and why it occurred from your perspective. You also need to state what type of basis or status you believe prompted the action. It is important to clearly describe exactly what happened. If there is additional information that you believe would be helpful in investigating your complaint, you should include it. Finally, both you and your attorney will sign the complaint.

Statute of Limitations

Both Bronx labor laws and federal labor laws have deadlines in place, after which you will be unable to file your complaint. Both require that you file the complaint no later than 180 days after the negative action occurred. It is thus important to seek help and to act quickly.

If the New York Labor Department Discriminated Against You

If the discriminatory behavior was directed at you by the New York Department of Labor or at one of their career centers, you have some additional options. You can then file your complaint directly through the agency or you can do so through the U.S. Department of Labor Civil Rights Center.

Who May File

You can choose to file a complaint on your own or you can have a representative, such as an attorney, file the complaint. They will also include their contact information.

Contact a Bronx Employment Lawyer

Because employment law is complex, you may want to get help from an attorney when you have experienced workplace or agency discrimination. An attorney may help with gathering your evidence and filing a well-supported claim. To speak with a Bronx employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr., call (877) 440-0854.

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Bronx Employment Law Attorney Explains Evidence of Intent

Bronx Employment Law Attorney flag gavel and bookIn an employment discrimination action, the primary question a Bronx employment law attorney will seek to answer is whether the decision-maker in question had any intent to discriminate in performing the action. In other words, did he or she intend to terminate you, or fail to promote you, on the basis of your protected status? Unfortunately, this is almost always impossible to prove directly because, whether or not it is true, the decision-maker will almost never admit it. For this reason, direct evidence of discriminatory intent is hard to come by. This is why any experience Bronx employment law attorney will try to uncover indirect evidence that suggest discriminatory intent on the part of the decision-maker.

Uncovering Intent

There are usually two steps a Bronx employment law attorney might use to try to find evidence of discriminatory intent.

  1. Look up and review the defendant’s or decision-maker’s official explanation for the action in question, whether it was termination, demotion, failure to promote, etc. This can usually be accomplished by simply asking the person, such as at deposition, why he or she made the decision. This provides an on-the-record account that may or may not be contradicted by evidence.
  2. Try to find evidence that indicates the decision-maker’s stated reason for the action is false. The second is clearly the most important one for an employment case and also the most difficult.

Here are some areas that your lawyer might inquire into to try to find the answer.

  • What are the company’s official policies and procedures for documenting problematic employees and disciplinary action?
  • Are records required to be kept?
  • Are there specific tired systems in place for disciplining employees, and if so, were they followed?
  • Was anything regarding your alleged performance or misconduct documented, and if so, when and by whom?
  • Who played a role in making the decision? Did the decision-maker rely on information provided by another employee who may have had certain discriminatory intent? Can everyone who had a hand in the decision justify their input into the decision?
  • What documents were used, such as performance evaluations or official complaints, in making the final decision regarding your employment? What do these documents indicate, and how do they compare to the account stated by the decision-maker? What do your personnel file and other documents such as performance reviews say? How do they compare to the account of the decision-maker?
  • Are there similar situations in which employees in the company were treated differently?

These are just some of the avenues your lawyer might explore.

Contact a Bronx Employment Law Attorney

For more information on what to look for during your employment lawsuit, contact a Bronx employment law attorney at the Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. Call (877) 440-0854.

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Bronx Workplace Discrimination Attorney Discusses Religion and Discrimination

Bronx Workplace Discrimination Attorney officeIf you feel as though you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace based on your religion, contact your local Bronx workplace discrimination attorney for assistance. The First Amendment on the Bill of Rights guarantees that every American has the right to freedom of their chosen religion, not one that has been chosen for them by the government. The First Amendment also allows their religion to be practiced freely. While private employers are not bound by the same Constitutional restraints as the government, they still are not allowed to discriminate against their employees based on their religious beliefs. If you have any questions as to what is considered to be discrimination against religious beliefs in the workplace, be sure to schedule a consultation with your Bronx workplace discrimination attorney immediately.

Diverse Religions in the Workplace

There are many different religions practiced in the United States which creates diversity in the workplace. Employees that are hired in the workplace can come from different countries and practice many different religions. In a perfect situation, all employees, regardless of their religious beliefs, get along well together and there is no conflict that arises from their diverse religions. Their religious beliefs have no effect on their ability to perform quality work. However, many private companies are far from experiencing that perfect situation. Employers and employees often find that they are experiencing a conflict because of their religious beliefs. Employers could disagree with the employee’s religious beliefs because of actions that are required by that religion. These actions can include religious holidays that are needed off, a certain way of dressing, a certain diet, needing to pray during the work day, or even discussing their religious beliefs with other employees.

Anti-Discrimination Laws Protecting Religion in the Workplace

As discussed above, the First Amendment protects an individual’s right to chose their religion and practice it freely. While the government is not allowed to interfere with an individual’s freedom of religion, a private company is not bound by the same laws. However, there are laws in place that protect the religious beliefs of an employee working in the private sector. The main statute that protects employees in the private sector is called the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of this act prevents private employers from discriminating against color, race, sex, country of origin, or religion. Employees are protected from having to deal with a hostile work environment under this act.

Accommodating an Employee’s Religion

An employer is required to accept and accommodate an employee’s religion, unless it affects the way that the business is being conducted. If the religious requests on the employer become to big of a burden, then a change may occur. If an employee is unable to perform the duties necessary to be successful at their job due to a reason related to their religion, then the employer’s demands may not seem unreasonable under certain circumstances. An employee may also not meet the requirements needed to be successful at the job due to religious interference. An example is if a restaurant requires an employee to have short hair but the employee cannot cut their hair due to their religion.

Contact a Bronx Workplace Discrimination Attorney

If you have any questions on religion in the workplace, call your Bronx workplace discrimination attorney to help clarify those questions for you. For help from an experienced professional, contact your Bronx workplace discrimination attorney today from The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. at (877) 440-0854.

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Our Bronx Employment Attorney Discusses Age Discrimination

Bronx Employment Attorney gavelA Bronx employment attorney can explain when an employer’s actions rise to the level of age discrimination in the workplace. Not all adverse actions against all employees create an actionable claim.

Violation under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

This act is the federal law that prohibits treating older employees less favorably than younger employees. It applies to workers who are age 40 or older. Therefore, if a victim of age discrimination is 38 or 35, he or she does not have an actionable claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. A Bronx employment attorney can explain that this federal law does not protect younger employees. Therefore, there is not a claim under this law if a particular employer prefers older workers over younger ones.

Prohibited Activities

A Bronx employment attorney can explain that age discrimination can occur in a number of situations. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits adverse decisions being made about the employee based on the employee’s age in terms of hiring, promoting, laying off, training, job assignments, compensation, benefits, or other terms or conditions of employment. Additionally, harassment based on the individual’s age is also prohibited. Employment harassment based on age is an actionable claim when it is so persistent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or when it causes an adverse employment decision to be made about the worker. However, this does not mean that every isolated negative comment or less serious action results in an actionable claim. Under the federal law, the perpetrator of the harassment may be the employee’s direct supervisor, another supervisor, a coworker or a customer. The law also prohibits the induction of certain employment policies or practices that have a disparate impact on older employees. This aspect of the law provides an employee with a basis for a claim for the unintentional discrimination that he or she may face due to such a practice or policy. This is true so long as the employment practice or policy is not based on a reasonable factor other than age.

Legal Assistance from Our Bronx Employment Attorney

If you would like more information on age discrimination, contact a Bronx employment attorney from The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. by calling (877) 440-0854.

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Our Bronx Employment Law Firm Gives an Overview of Employers Liability Insurance

paperwork Bronx Employment Law FirmOur Bronx employment law firm helps clients who have questions about their employers’ liability insurance. This insurance covers employer liabilities that are not addressed in workers’ compensation claims, which is when an employee is hurt while at work.

A History of Employers’ Liability Insurance

Coverage for American workers has been in existence for nearly 100 years. However, it was previously grouped with errors and omissions and commercial general liability within workers’ compensation policies in Part II. Part II coverage includes protection for the employer against liability in the event of injuries or even the death of a worker due to on-the-job risks. Emotional distress, if it manifests physically, is also included in the CGL context of a worker’s compensation policy.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment practices liability insurance protects the employer and all of his or her assignees in the event of a lawsuit. Officers, spouses, other employees, partners, directors, officers, and managers are included in coverage in the event of the following types of injuries:

  • Wrongful acts,
  • Wrongful termination,
  • Harassment,
  • Employment actions,
  • Negligence related to hiring or supervision,
  • Breach of an employment contract,
  • Harassment,
  • And other inappropriate acts, such as discrimination.

For additional details related to exclusions, contact our Bronx employment law firm.

Obligation of the Insurer

The insurer is required to pay for the defense of the employer with one exception. If two employers, such as a general employer and a special employer are both named, the policy for the general employer does not cover the special employer in the event of a civil lawsuit. However, if the special employer is listed in the policy, the insurer might be obligated to defend him or her, depending on the facts surrounding the case. Despite this, coverage rarely includes intentional acts, and some states specifically prohibit it. Even so, the employee could be covered personally, but the coverage does not extend to indemnification.

Contact Our Bronx Employment Law Firm

At the Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr., we understand how to sort out the confusing aspects of workers’ compensation claims and employment liability coverage. For answers to your questions, you can reach our Bronx employment law firm at (877) 440-0854.

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Bronx Employment Law Attorney Case Tip: Evaluating the Defendant Company

Bronx employment law attorneyIf you have filed an employment claim, a Bronx employment law attorney can attest that one of the most important elements to consider is the size of the company that employed you. When evaluating an employment claim, your Bronx employment attorney will want to learn as much as possible about the defendants. Your attorney will need to know the following:

  • The size of the employers
  • The financial resources of the employers
  • The litigation philosophy of the employers

In regards to the size, there are two things to consider:

  • Title VII
  • Views of Litigation

Title VII

Most statutes that outlaw discrimination cannot be applied unless their are more than a certain number of employees. Most statues define this as having fifteen or more employees each working twenty or more weeks in the previous year. If the employer does not meet this number, then Title VII does not apply.

Views of Litigation

Smaller companies tend to view litigation as a personal attack, unlike larger companies, who typically understand that litigation is part of the cost of doing business. When a company feels that they are under attack, they are less likely to settle. Also, smaller companies tend to hire smaller law firms, which usually attack litigation cases aggressively.

Don’t Go at It Alone

For more information regarding how to best evaluate the defendant company in your employment case, contact a Bronx employment law attorney with The Law Offices of Delmas A. Costin Jr. at (877) 440-0854.

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