Under New York City, New York State, and federal law, sex and gender discrimination is prohibited in the workplace. Gender or sex discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly based on the employee’s actual or perceived sex or gender. Such treatment may occur within policies and practices in the workplace including hiring, compensation, layoffs, promotions, job training, working conditions, benefits, and other privileges.
The New York gender discrimination attorneys of Bantle & Levy LLP know that bringing a gender or sex discrimination claim against your employer can be difficult, but we can help you through the legal and emotional process to ensure your rights are protected.
Laws Prohibiting Sex, Gender Discrimination in New York
Federal, state, and local laws prohibit gender discrimination, however, each level reaches a different sector and size of the company. For example, federal law does not allow companies with more than 15 employees to discriminate based on the gender of a job applicant or employee. However, New York City law does not allow sex discrimination by employers with four or more employees, while New York State law does not have an employee threshold. In addition, New York City’s law specifically forbids discrimination against transgender people. But, since the Bostock ruling, this also applies to gender identity and sexual orientation.
A New York gender discrimination attorney will be able to help you determine which law is most beneficial to your claim.
Specific laws prohibiting gender and sex discrimination include:
- New York State Division of Human Rights: Created regulations that include discrimination on the basis of gender identity and transgender status within the definition of “sex discrimination.”
- Title VII: Not only applies to sex and gender discrimination, but also to sexual orientation.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Amends Title VII to include pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, as well as women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.
Further, under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Equal Pay Act of 1963, men and women must receive equal pay for substantially equal jobs in the same company. This includes salary, benefits, bonuses, stock options, and overtime pay. If you are being paid less than a coworker of the opposite sex for the same or substantially similar job, you may have a legal claim for gender discrimination under this law.
Examples of New York Sex or Gender Discrimination
Sex or gender discrimination can take many forms in the workplace. Common examples include:
- Refusing to hire or give promotions to someone based on perceived or actual gender.
- Giving benefits to wives of male employees but not to husbands of female employees.
- Paying a male employee more than a female for the same job.
- Refusing to hire or promote an employee because of their family responsibilities.
- Gendered comments about how an employee emotionally responds to something.
- Refusing to promote a woman because she is or may become pregnant.
Damages Awarded for Gender or Sex Discrimination Claims
Two of the most common avenues for filing a gender or sex discrimination claim are under the EEOC or the New York State Human Rights Law.
Under an EEOC filing, a victim may be awarded damages for:
- Past lost wages: Amount of money lost because of discrimination.
- Future lost wages: Amount of money you may lose because you have another job making less money or if you have not found a new job.
- Lost benefits: Lost vacation time, sick time, pension, or retirement benefits.
- Emotional Distress damages: Money for the emotional distress that was not medically treated and money used to cover treatment for emotional distress.
- Attorneys’ Fees
- Punitive Damages: Money used to punish an employer for its wrongful conduct but that is not typically available against public employers.
Under the New York State Human Rights Law, damages may include:
- Past lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Emotional distress damages
In addition to awarded damages, both federal and city laws protect employees from retaliation from their employer when they come forth with a sex or gender discrimination claim.
Facing Discrimination in New York? Call Bantle & Levy LLP.
No matter your sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, you have a right to a safe, secure, and respectable workplace. But when you are treated unfairly because of your actual or perceived gender, know that you have options to pursue justice.
At Bantle & Levy LLP, we fight for all employees, from the hourly worker to C-Suite executives. Contact us today to learn more.