Equal Opportunity laws generally cover equal access for groups when it comes to employment hiring, benefits, pay rates, promotions, and vacation issues.  Most equal opportunity laws involve some form of anti-discrimination language.

In New York, equal employment opportunity laws prevent employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their:

  • Age
  • Race or National Origin
  • Political beliefs and affiliation
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Marital Status

Also, New York provides protection for members of various other categories, including genetics, predisposition, carrier status, veteran status, and sexual orientation.  Many other state and federal laws don’t always make mention of these specific categories.  Employment discrimination retaliation is also prohibited (i.e., firing a worker because they have filed a discrimination claim).

How Do I File a Claim Involving Equal Opportunity in New York?

Proving employment discrimination usually involves proof that: you belong to a “protected class”; your employer mistreated you or denied you of your rights on the basis of your membership in that class; and that you suffered loss as a result of the discriminatory conduct.

In most cases, you will need to provide evidence of the discrimination, including proof of lost wages or promotions, witness testimony, and a written account of the incident.  Also, it may help your case if you can prove that other groups in a similar work field as you were treated differently by the management (for instance, if other groups were promoted at your expense).

A New York equal opportunity case is usually filed first with a state agency like the New York Department of Labor.  The Department may begin an investigation to determine if there have been any actual violations.  They may also prescribe a remedy for losses.  Alternatives may include filing with a federal body if allowed (like the EEOC) or filing a private civil lawsuit.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With New York Equal Opportunity Laws?

New York equal opportunity laws are meant to provide workers and future employees with various legal protections.  If you feel that your employment rights have been violated, you may wish to hire a qualified employment attorney in your area.  Your New York discrimination lawyers can assist you with the filing of your claim, and can provide you with representation in court if necessary.