Individuals in New York may be aware that since 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has included transgender people as one of the groups protected against workplace discrimination, but now the federal government is changing its interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2006, the Justice Department said Title VII did not apply to discrimination against transgender people, but it has reversed that decision. It is now asserting that it will now bring claims on behalf of state and local government transgender employees who are asserting that they have been subject to discrimination, and will no longer maintain its position that Title VII does not apply.
New York residents may not be aware about the facts concerning compensation discrimination and equal pay in the workforce. Employees are protected under a variety of federal laws ensuring that earnings are not subject to discrimination. Employee benefits such as holiday pay, insurance benefits, bonuses, overtime, hazard pay, stock investments, trip accommodations and reimbursement for travel-related expenses are also protected under laws.
Religious discrimination occurs when a New York employer harasses, segregates or makes other employment decisions based on an employee's religious views. Discrimination also occurs if an employer makes hiring decisions based on an applicant's strongly-held religious beliefs. Such practices are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the event that an employee needs to wear a head covering, is not allowed to cut his or her hair or needs other accommodations, an employer must generally provide them.
Pregnant workers in New York have substantial protections when defending their right to work and hold on to their job. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has outlined the different types of protections that pregnant individuals have from harassment or discrimination.
New York employers are forbidden from discriminating against an otherwise-qualified worker due to current, former or perceived disability status. Even if an employee does not have a disability but the employer believes that he or she does, discriminatory actions against the employee are against the law.
Employees in New York may benefit from learning more about the state's laws against workplace discrimination. New York's Human Rights Law reflects similarly to the provisions established under federal discrimination laws. The Human Rights Law specifically prohibits discrimination against disabilities. The state's Division of Human Rights is an administrative agency tasked with enforcing the act and investigating complaints of violations. When appropriate, the agency may process a discrimination claim concurrently with federal entities.
Under federal laws and state statutes in New York, individuals are protected from discrimination. This means that any person who is treated different due to a number of factors, including race, religion, political affiliation or gender, may have legal recourse. It is also illegal for an employer to not hire or promote a person and for a state agency to delay or fail to offer a person services because they have filed a discrimination complaint of have become involved in a lawsuit.
A woman who formerly served as a senior vice president for the New York Mets has filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging that she had been the target of discriminatory practices due to the fact that she was unwed and pregnant. A reported dispute arose between the woman and Jeff Wilpon, Mets COO and son of the team's owner, after she announced her pregnancy to fellow executives with the baseball team. She indicates that the difficulties continued even after her return from maternity leave in June, and she was reportedly fired in August.
Discrimination in the workplace can present itself in many different ways. If an employer denies a person a job or promotion or fires an employee based on one of the protected statuses, that person may be able to file a discrimination claim. Protected statuses in New York include race, gender, age, disability, religious or political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, genetic predisposition or carrier status, arrest and conviction record and veteran status. The law also prohibits retaliation by the employer after an employee files a claim.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks to put an end to discrimination against transgender people in the workplace, housing and others areas. In a letter dated Aug. 19, Cuomo stated that he believes gender identity should be protected from discriminatory practices just as civil rights protect people from discrimination based on disabilities, race and religion. The governor vowed to seek legal rights for gender expression if elected this fall. It would be the governor's second term in office.