Many employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace feel isolated and intimidated. They may be unaware that other people are facing similar discrimination. Pursuing a class-action lawsuit can allow a large group of employees to recover compensation from an employer engaged in unlawful discrimination.
Discuss Your Discrimination Class Action Case With a New York City Attorney
Class-action lawsuits for discrimination are a powerful way to hold employers accountable for unlawful discrimination. Our attorneys investigate each case thoroughly and gather evidence showing that discrimination has occurred. One class-action lawsuit can bring compensation and a sense of justice for you and every person your employer has similarly harmed. Contact Lipsky Lowe LLP today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Unlawful Workplace Discrimination in New York City
Unlawful discrimination can take many different forms. Discrimination can involve unlawful comments or sexual advances that are unwanted in the workplace. In other cases, older employees have been fired in favor of younger employees who are cheaper for companies to hire. In other cases, employees in same-sex marriages may be refused advancement opportunities in a company due to their sexual orientation. Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited by multiple laws, including the following:
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits wage base discrimination based on gender
- Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination due to color or national origin, race, religion, or sex
- The Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees with physical and mental disabilities in public and private employment
- The genetic information nondiscrimination act of 2008 prohibits workplace discrimination based on an employee’s or applicant’s genetic information
In addition to these federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, New York has a comprehensive human rights law that forbids discrimination based on “age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status or disability.” This anti-discrimination law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, fair credit, and public accommodations.
The Difference Between an Individual and Class-Action Lawsuit
In a class-action lawsuit, a group of individuals who the same type of discrimination has harmed can pool their resources together and bring a single case against their employer. In an individual lawsuit, a single employee brings a claim against his or her employer. In an individual employment discrimination lawsuit, one employee files a lawsuit against the employer. If the employee is successful, all of the compensation that is awarded in the settlement or verdict will go to the individual plaintiff. In a class-action lawsuit, the damages will be divided among the members of the class.
Employment class-action lawsuits are frequently used when employees or job applicants of a company have suffered discrimination due to their sex, age, race, immigration status, criminal history, or membership and another protected class. Class-action lawsuits are typically brought by a small group of people on behalf of a larger group. They help ensure that the individual rights of everyone in the class action are protected. Large-scale employment discrimination lawsuits can be more difficult to identify and penalize without using a class-action lawsuit. Individuals may not have the same economic incentive to bring a lawsuit against their employer as a group of individuals.
How Does It Work?
In order to bring a class-action lawsuit for employment discrimination, the claimants will need to meet several requirements under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The group of claimants needs to be so large that attempting to join each individual member wouldn’t be practical. The discrimination involved must be common to all of the representatives of the class action and its individual members.
Additionally, the claims of the individual members of the class need to be well represented by the smaller group. Finally, the interest of the larger group of individual members needs to be protected by the smaller group of class representatives. In other words, the employer’s unlawful discriminatory conduct must have negatively impacted enough employees that individual lawsuits wouldn’t be practical.
There isn’t a specific number of people who need to be negatively affected by discrimination to bring a class-action lawsuit. However, in most cases, having at least forty or more people will be large enough. There are other requirements related to motions, certifications, and hearings that need to be met before discovery and trial can begin. Many employers are afraid of going to trial for class-action lawsuits because the damage amount is so high. They are more inclined to settle the case before it goes to trial.
The Benefits of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit in NYC
When it comes to large employers, the damages they need to pay to a single employee for discrimination may not be significant to the employer. However, the damages demanded in a class of collective action allow employees to have a significant opportunity to get justice. Many employment class-action lawsuits brought against large employers include plaintiffs from around the country joining the lawsuit. The class-action lawsuit could be for millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
These types of large class-action lawsuits require employers who engage in discrimination to pay a significant amount of money for their unlawful behavior. In addition to allowing the plaintiffs to spread the costs of the lawsuit among the claimants, the claimants can demand damages that will be significant for even the largest companies. Finally, when each plaintiff has a relatively small but not insignificant amount of damages, it may not be worth pursuing an individual lawsuit. Utilizing a class-action lawsuit allows all of the people who’ve been negatively affected to recover compensation, even if each individual damage amount isn’t significant.
Contact a Discrimination Class Action Attorney in New York
If an employer has discriminated against you because of your membership in a protected class, such as your gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation, your employer has probably discriminated against other people. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, we believe that every New York City employee has a right to work in a discrimination-free environment. We can help you evaluate your legal options and hold your employer accountable. Contact the experienced class-action attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about our legal services.