Bringing and Defending Discrimination Claims
New York State and New York City generally have broad anti-discrimination laws that protect individuals from unlawful activity in the workplace, including discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, gender identity, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, familial status, history of criminal conviction, credit score or domestic violence victim status. Employers should be aware of state, city, and federal laws, to understand which employment decisions or workplace policies may expose them to potential liability.
As employment litigators, we have experience handling a broad range of workplace discrimination claims. Our representation may start with negotiation, before escalating to potential litigation in front of agencies including the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in state and federal courts.
A health crisis or condition may impact an employee's ability to perform their job. Often, these employees may be able to perform their essential job functions if they get a "reasonable accommodation," an adjustment in their work situation that accommodates their physical or mental needs. Requests for reasonable accommodations are highly fact-specific to the workplace, but can include taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, adjustments in work schedule, ability to work remotely, or using an adaptive technology like speech recognition instead of typing.
Berke-Weiss Law PLLC works with employees and employers to engage in the required interactive process to find a reasonable accommodation that allows employees to continue performing their job without placing an undue burden on the employer, and to help guide employers to create employment policies that minimize liability.
Wrongful termination occurs in a broad spectrum of situations. At Berke-Weiss Law PLLC, we often speak with potential clients who believe they were wrongfully terminated when they were fired without review or without warning. In New York, most employment is “at will,” meaning that an employer or an employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for nearly any reason — or no reason at all. However, there are several reasons for which it is illegal to terminate the employment relationship. These include discrimination based on ethnic or national origin, color, race, age, pregnancy, religion or sex.
Lawyers at our firm also represent employers who face allegations that they engaged in wrongful termination when they terminated employees, often for very legitimate reasons. We help these employers protect their interests. We also focus on preventing future litigation by counseling employers on the creation of employment policies that comply with state and federal laws.