NYC Discrimination Attorney For Employers
At Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier, we are staunch advocates for employee rights, and when a client comes to us claiming that an employer discriminated against him/her, we take these cases very seriously. However, we also understand that some discrimination claims are very loosely based or do not demonstrate discrimination in New York workplaces. As NYC discrimination attorneys, we emphasize an unbiased outlook toward discrimination laws and we offer rigorous defenses for employers who are being charged with facilitating discrimination.
Whether you were accused of racial discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, and so forth, we boast comprehensive knowledge of state and federal discrimination laws and professional litigation strategies. To speak with a discrimination attorney about the discrimination claims against you, call our NYC employment law office today at (212) 777-9400.
Legal Standards for a Discrimination Claim
Unfortunately, when an employee or an applicant doesn’t receive what he/she wants, it’s much easier to justify the employer’s decision by claiming “discrimination” than accepting a failure. Discrimination does occur in some workplaces, but certainly not every workplace, and if an employee is unjustly claiming discrimination, it could cost your company both time and money.
As such, appropriate state and federal laws lay out a series of legal standards for a discrimination claim. In general, there are two ways that the plaintiff (the alleged victim of discrimination) can prove that discrimination occurred, including direct evidence and circumstantial evidence.
Direct evidence is the most difficult method of proving discrimination, but if the plaintiff can prove that discrimination occurred, his/her chances of success in courts are higher. In order to show direct evidence of discrimination, the plaintiff must accomplish two things:
- He/she must prove membership of a protected class (gender, age, national origin, race, disability, etc)
- That his/her membership of a protected class was a motivating factor for discrimination
Lastly, there often needs to be some sort of “action” to show the adverse effect of discrimination. For example, the plaintiff was fired, lost a promotion, was harassed, was demoted, etc.
Circumstantial evidence is much more common in these cases, but unlike direct evidence, showing circumstantial evidence might not be enough for the plaintiff to win a case. As a general definition, circumstantial evidence often relates to a series of facts or events that, together, may prove that discrimination was a factor in the adverse treatment at issue.
When arguing circumstantial evidence, the plaintiff may try to prove discrimination by looking at the multiple pieces of evidence as a single entity.
EEOC Proceedings for Discrimination Claims
Before many employees can file a lawsuit in New York courts for discrimination, they often have to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). By filing a charge, the employer and the claimant may be required to go through mediation first.
As an employer, you may have to file an EEOC statement of position as well. Approach this statement carefully, as it can come back to haunt you in legal proceedings later on. The EEOC will conduct an investigation regarding the discrimination claim, and either determine:
- That it is more likely than not that the discrimination occurred
- That there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of discrimination
The EEOC will include this information in a “Notice of Right to Sue.” The complaining party has a right to sue regardless of the EEOC’s decision.
How We Can Defend a Discrimination Suit
Because discrimination suits can be costly and time-consuming, it’s important to always emphasize preventive measures in the workplace. Some effective preventive measures may include:
- Having a comprehensive and proactive set of policies and procedures
- Keeping detailed records on an employee’s job performance
- Knowing and understanding discrimination laws and protected classes
Even with proactive policies and procedures, an employee may still feel like he/she was discriminated against and file a lawsuit. If this is the case, we at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier boast years of experience with both traditional and creative litigation strategies. Just a few ways we can defend a discrimination suit can include:
- Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (there was a legitimate limitation on qualification for a job within your company)
- The employee had poor job performance
- The employee failed to notify the employer of discrimination (employees must notify employers before filing a claim with the EEOC)
- The employee failed to meet the criteria required, invalidating their claim with the EEOC
Call Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today
If an employee is filing a discrimination claim against you, whether with the EEOC or in a private lawsuit, you need to contact an experienced and determined NYC discrimination attorney as soon as possible. The first step in defending the discrimination claim is to contact the attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call our NYC employment law firm today at (212) 777-9400.