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Discrimination in the Hiring Process

New York Attorneys Vigorously Representing Employees

New York employers can decide not to hire a job applicant for almost any cause. There are exceptions, though, in that they cannot decline to hire someone for a discriminatory reason. Sadly, many employers ignore this rule and refuse to hire people due to their race, gender, age, or membership in another protected class. Employers that engage in discrimination in the hiring process should be held accountable, however, and victims of discrimination should consult a lawyer. If you believe that you faced discrimination while you were in the process of seeking a job, the New York employment discrimination lawyers at Gerstman Schwartz can aid you in the pursuit of any compensation that you may be owed.

Laws Against Discrimination

Multiple laws prohibit discrimination in the hiring process. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) all provide that it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire a person, or to discriminate against an individual regarding the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of the individual’s membership in a protected class.

Similarly, they state that it is an illegal discriminatory practice for an employer to limit, classify, or segregate job applicants in a manner that deprives or is likely to deprive them of employment opportunities or adversely affect their status as employees because of their membership in a protected class. The NYCHRL also bars employers from advising prospective employees that jobs that are open are no longer available because of the employee’s inclusion in a protected class.

The classes offered protection vary under the statutes. Title VII bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, while other federal laws provide protections for people with disabilities and individuals in certain age groups. The NYSHRL offers broader protections, including creed, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, familial status, and domestic violence victim status as protected classes. It also protects people from discrimination based on disability, gender identity or expression, military status, and predisposing genetic characteristics.

The NYCHRL protects individuals from discrimination based on their perceived or actual age, creed, race, color, national origin, disability, or marital or partnership status. It also prohibits discrimination due to a person’s gender, caregiver status, sexual orientation, immigration or citizenship status, or sexual and reproductive health decisions.

Pursuing Claims for Discrimination in the Hiring Process

Employers that engage in discrimination in the hiring process can be held accountable in civil lawsuits. Generally, plaintiffs alleging discrimination under Title VII or the NYSHRL must prove that they were qualified for the job in question but were not hired or were otherwise treated negatively by the employer. An example of an adverse action during the hiring process is lesser pay compared to other employees or denial of benefits. They must also show that the unfavorable act occurred under circumstances that indicate that it was motivated by a discriminatory bias. Plaintiffs pursuing claims under the NYCHRL face a less stringent burden of proof. They only need to prove that they were qualified for the position in question but were treated less favorably than other people not in the protected class. Plaintiffs who successfully prove discrimination may recover compensatory damages, as well as damages for any emotional or mental distress that they suffered. In instances in which the discrimination was especially egregious, they may also be awarded punitive damages.

Consult a Dedicated New York Attorney

People applying for jobs should be evaluated on their qualifications, but many employers harbor discriminatory beliefs. If you were mistreated in the hiring process, it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer. At Gerstman Schwartz, our dedicated employment discrimination attorneys can assess your potential claims and help you seek a successful result. We regularly aid people in the pursuit of damages in discrimination cases in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can reach us to set up a meeting by calling our New York City office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170 or by using our form online.

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