New York residents may have heard that Jill Abramson, former editor for the New York Times has been fired from her job. What they may not know, however, is that Abramson may have been the victim of retaliation after she complained about the pay gap between herself as a woman and a former male editor.
A woman of Jamaican nationality has filed a lawsuit against her employer Resorts World Casino in New York alleging she was a victim of discrimination and sexual harassment.
There is currently no federal law in the United States that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender. Fortunately for members of the LGBT community, however, New York state law does have such protections. And if an employee feels like he or she has been fired because of his or her sexual orientation or gender, he or she can file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Our blog has frequently covered issues of sexual harassment in the workplace and the various legal steps that an employee can take if he or she experiences harassment. Many people may be afraid to report sexual harassment, thinking that they might lose their jobs or that things will only get worse if they do. If either of these do come to pass after reporting unwanted touching or some other kind of sexual harassment, a New York City worker can file an employment lawsuit, as it is illegal to take retaliation on an employee exercising his or her rights.
When most New Yorkers think about workplace sexual harassment, they think of attractive young women being touched or harassed by much older, male bosses. While there certainly are women being harassed in situations such as those, any type of sexual advance or harassment by any kind of colleague and against any type of person can be considered sexual harassment. This means that men can be victims, older people can be victims, and so on.
Though federal and New York law only have a limited number of categories in which to protect employees from workplace discrimination, there are other laws that require employers to look beyond single characteristics when making hiring decisions. Take, for example, a recent statement by the chief of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York Attorney General's office: "You CANNOT automatically disqualify individuals solely because they have a criminal background." While someone can be denied a job based on his or her criminal background, it cannot be the only reason why they are denied a position.
Even though the New York Jets are located right across the river in New Jersey, there are a number of New York fans of the football team. The Jets have been in the news recently because the franchise is accused of paying its cheerleaders far below the minimum wage. As in New York, every New Jersey employer must pay its staff the minimum wage. Even for positions at minimum wage, the pay rate is so low that without further income an employee would be below the poverty line, so it is understanding that employees who aren't even paid minimum wage may be interested in filing wage and hour lawsuits against their employers.
The United States is filled with people of all different faiths, including people who don't profess any faith at all. One of the bedrocks of American society is religious freedom, which has been interpreted by the legislature and courts to mean that employers must make reasonable accomodations for their employees' religious requirements. If they don't, they might be sued for religious discrimination.
Though there is more to work than pay, it is undeniable that pay and the possibility of getting a raise plays a role in people's employment decisions. Employers recognize this and will often offer their top employees more money if it looks like they might be considering leaving the company. If a Manhattan company wants to keep an employee, it will make sure that the employee's pay rate is, at the very least, comparable to other similar businesses.
Except for those employees who are exempt from overtime, if someone works more than 40 hours in one week in New York, he or she is entitled to 1 1/2 times his or her normal wage for every hour worked over the 40-hour limit. The problem is, however, that many employers dispute how much an employee worked, whether he or she is exempt, or what the rate of overtime pay should be. If an employer refuses to pay an employee what he or she is due, the employer may have to defend against a wage and hour lawsuit in court.