Representing employees with skill, advocacy and compassion

When you’re dealing with issues of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you need an employment attorney you can trust to fight for your rights as an employee. At Akin & Salaman, we represent victims in a variety of serious workplace matters, providing a high level of personal attention to each client who comes through our door. You’re not just a number to us — you’re a person who needs strong legal guidance to navigate tough employment law issues.

A Wide Range of Practice Areas to Fit Your Needs

No one should have to deal with discrimination, harassment, unfair wages or a hostile environment at a place of employment. If you’ve been subjected to this type of treatment, a New York or New Jersey employment law attorney can explore your options for taking legal action. Akin & Salaman helps employees facing a wide range of issues and can help you with the following:

    • Employment Discrimination.

      Federal law, New York State Executive Law and New York City Human Rights Laws prohibits employers, supervisors and managers from discriminating against workers due to age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship. Employment discrimination may come in the form of unequal pay, job denial, lack of promotion, wrongful termination and other actions.

      No one should have to deal with discrimination, harassment, unfair wages or a hostile environment at a place of employment. If you’ve been subjected to this type of treatment, an employment law attorney can help you explore your options for taking legal action. The attorneys at Akin & Salaman represent individuals facing a wide range of issues and can help you with the following issues:

      • Hostile Work Environment

        When an employer, supervisor or co-worker subjects you to harassment or unlawful discrimination, the result may be an abusive, demoralizing, or hostile work environment. This harassment or discrimination may be based on the claimant’s sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age or disability, and is illegal according to city, state, and federal law. Although repeated actions are usually necessary for a work environment to be considered hostile, some serious actions — such as unwanted sexual advances — may qualify with a single occurrence.

      • Sexual Harassment

        If an employer or co-worker makes sexual advances, uses lewd comments, views inappropriate or pornographic material, or engages in other inappropriate behavior, he or she may be guilty of sexual harassment. This may come in the form of quid pro quo harassment, in which hiring, promotions, compensation, benefits, preferential treatment or termination are linked to a person’s willingness to engage in sexual acts. In other situations, the victim may simply be subjected to regular inappropriate comments and unwanted sexual advances creating a hostile work environment and making it difficult for the victims to perform her/his duties.

      • Criminal Sexual Misconduct

        The most severe forms of sexual harassment involve criminal misconduct. In a case where criminal misconduct is a factor, an employer, supervisor, or co-worker may be guilty of both sexual harassment and a more serious crime, such as sexual assault.

      • Sexual Orientation Discrimination

        Section 8-107 of the New York City Administrative Code states that it is illegal for employer to discriminate on the basis on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. This form of harassment from an employer, supervisor, or colleague may create a hostile work environment.

      • Race / Color Discrimination

        Even though race and color clearly overlap, they are not synonymous. Thus, color discrimination can occur between persons of different races or ethnicities, or between persons of the same race or ethnicity which results from the pigmentation of their skin or tone. Federal, State and City laws prohibits discrimination based on race or color against all persons, including Caucasians. In addition, the discrimination may also be based on a perceived race. For example, a person who is Haitian may be discriminated against with the belief that the person is an African-American. Discrimination, regardless of whether it is based on an individual's perceived or actual race or color, is illegal.

      • Religious Discrimination

        It is illegal to harass or discriminate against an employee person because of his or her religion. Harassment can include offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices. Furthermore, a person does not need to be a highly devout individual to be subject to discrimination. By way of an example, even a non practicing Muslim may pursue a claim if he is discriminated simply by being associated with Islam.

      • Pregnancy Discrimination

        Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, including limitations on physical workload and breaks for rest. They may not force a woman into unpaid leave as long as she remains capable and willing to do her job.

      • Minimum Wage/Overtime Violations

        Employers have a responsibility to be aware of minimum wage laws and to provide their employees with adequate wages. If your pay is below minimum wage, you may take legal action to recover the difference between your wages and the minimum allowed per state and federal law. Employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week must be paid at least 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay

      • Retaliation

        Individuals who report illegal practices at their workplace such as discrimination or sexual harassment may face retaliation from their employers, managers, supervisors, or co-workers. This retaliation may take the form of termination, abuse, demotion, ridicule, or suspension. The law protects individuals who report instances of harassment and discrimination, or participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

      • Wrongful Termination

        An employer cannot fire or lay off an employee for reasons that violate city, state, or federal law. These reasons may include violation of a contract, employment discrimination, retaliation, breach of good faith, and fraud. The lawyers at Akin & Salaman can help you recover the wages you lost as a result of wrongful termination.

      • Prevailing Wage Claims

        If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to another party’s actions or negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. We handle civil litigation associated with toxic torts, defective products, auto accidents, and premises liability.

NYC Discrimination and Harassment Laws

City, state, and federal laws protect workers from illegal discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Here are just some of the laws that protect New York City employees’ rights:

      • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 296 of the New York State Executive Law, and Sections 8-107 of the New York City Administrative Code prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, criminal convictions, disability, and genetic information.
      • The Equal Pay Act states that individuals who perform equivalent work must be paid the same wages, regardless of gender.
      • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) states that employers cannot discriminate based on a person’s age.
      • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s disability.
      • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires a covered employer to grant medical leave to an employee in certain circumstances and will be held liable for denying such a request.

If you have been the victim of workplace behavior that violates any of the above laws, you may be eligible for monetary damages. Please note that the list above is not comprehensive, and that there are many other laws protecting the rights of New York City employees. If you are unsure about whether a certain behavior constitutes workplace harassment or discrimination, contact Akin & Salaman as soon as possible to determine whether your rights have been violated.

There are time limits for filing claims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Because of this, it is important to act as soon as possible in order to present a valid and effective case. Some situations may involve filing a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the New York Division of Human Rights (DHR), or the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CHR). It is crucial that you file correctly so that your situation receives the consideration it deserves. Since doing so may be confusing, contact an employment discrimination lawyer at the Akin & Salaman to help guide you through.

The Lawyers at Akin & Salaman are Ready to Defend Your Rights

If you have faced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you should not hesitate to fight back. City, state, and federal laws provide extensive protections for New York City employees, and many victims of workplace harassment and discrimination have been awarded monetary compensation for the monetary, physical, and emotional damages they sustained.

The lawyers at Akin & Salaman can help you navigate the legal labyrinth, understand your rights and options, and build an effective case. Their extensive courtroom experience and comprehensive knowledge of the law can help maximize your chances of success. Call us today at 212-825-1400 or contact us online today to set up a free consultation.