Although society is becoming more open and tolerant, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community continues to experience widespread LGBTQ discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Currently, specific prohibitions of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not embodied in federal law and Congress has yet to act on the issue. Fortunately, LGBTQ individuals residing and working in New York and New Jersey are protected under local and state laws. Nonetheless, LGBTQ workers continue to experience discrimination and harassment, which makes it crucial to have proper legal representation.
At Lipsky Lowe, we believe that everyone — including our friends and colleagues in the LGBTQ community — has a right to a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Well-versed in the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, we have a proven history of providing aggressive legal representation to LGBTQ workers. Through the years we have recovered millions of dollar for our clients in settlements and jury verdicts. Whether inside or outside of the courtroom, our employment lawyer will be the strength in your corner.
How do laws in New York and New Jersey Protect Against LGBTQ Discrimination?
LGBTQ workers in New York and New Jersey have some of the strongest legal protections in the nation as the applicable laws specifically include prohibitions on discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In particular, employers are prohibited from refusing to hire a job applicant, or terminating an employee, based on his/her sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, LGBTQ workers are protecting from workplace harassment. Moreover, local and state laws in New York and New Jersey also prohibit employers from creating a work environment that is hostile or abusive to LGBTQ workers.
In short, employers may be held strictly liable for supervisor discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Employers also have an obligation to respond to complaints of coworker harassment of LGBTQ employees and can be held liable for creating a hostile work environment. This occurs when comments or conduct based on sexual orientation or gender identity interfere with an LGBTQ worker’s ability to perform his or her job or creates a work environment that a reasonable person believes is hostile, intimidating or offensive.
Examples of offensive conduct include:
- Inappropriate jokes
It is also important to remember that LGBTQ workers are protected against retaliation. This means that an employer cannot take an adverse employment action — hiring, firing, demotion, changing assignments or employment benefits — against an employee who complains about discrimination or harassment.
What Our New York City LGBTQ Discrimination Attorney Will Do For You
If you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment due to your sexual orientation or gender identity, our legal team will fight to protect your interests. Knowing that employers have an unfair advantage over LGBTQ workers who complain about discrimination and harassment, we will level the playing field by providing you with aggressive legal representation. We will explain all of your rights, explore all of your options, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Although each case is unique, you may be entitled to compensation such as back pay, front pay, and damages for emotional distress. Back pay will be awarded if the employer has taken an adverse employment action against you for filing a discrimination or harassment complaint. This compensation includes wages, bonuses, paid time off, and the monetary value of employment benefits (e.g., health insurance, retirement benefits). In addition, compensatory non-economic damages (referred to as pain and suffering) may be available if you sustained emotional harm, your reputation was damaged or you incurred out of pocket costs because of supervisor sexual harassment (e.g., medical bills for counseling, job search costs).
At the other end of the spectrum, we have also defended business clients against unfounded claims of LGBTQ discrimination and harassment, which often arise in unrelated employment disputes. Above all, we are dedicated to eradicating employment discrimination and harassment in the workplace. When you become a client of Lipsky Lowe, you can rest assured that we will be the strength in your corner. Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a consultation.