NY Judges Sue For Age Discrimination

NY Judges File Lawsuit Alleging Age Discrimination

Covid-19 has caused many unexpected things to happen in 2020.

In particular, the economic slump following the spread of the virus has caused many people to struggle mentally and emotionally. Financially speaking, businesses and even the government had to get creative to make ends meet. Few, however, could have imagined that these conditions could lead to an indirect attack on the judiciary and its long-standing traditions.

Near the end of 2020, 46 senior New York judges were denied recertification by the court administrator. Why? The administrator cited, among others, “economic reasons” amidst the “coronavirus fallout.” Believing that they were the victims of age discrimination, ten judges joined together in a lawsuit against the state chief judge and the administrative board.

Under the law, you cannot be discriminated against by your employer or potential employers because of your age. Let our employment discrimination review some basics about age discrimination in employment.

What is Employment Discrimination Because of Age?

Put simply; employment age discrimination is the act of discriminating against a person over the age of 40 concerning his or her compensation, terms, conditions, employment, status, or opportunities.

One typical example of employment age discrimination is laying off employees for no other reason except their age. Another example is not hiring someone for a job because of age, even though the job can be performed by any person regardless of age.

Employment discrimination based on age in the US has evolved over the years and does not necessarily reflect widely-held conceptions about how it occurs.

For instance, in some parts of the country and specific industries, age discrimination occurs even against people under 40. For example, in high-tech sectors, employees from 28 to 35 sometimes face discrimination for being too “old” to work in the industry.

Interesting Recent Age Discrimination Cases

In 2008, the Court ruled in the case of Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab that employers have the burden of proving that their actions were due to reasonable factors other than age. This case changed the way age discrimination lawsuits were fought. It shifted the obligation of justifying a layoff or other employment decision to the employer.

However, just over a year later, the Court issued an opinion in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. In this opinion, the Court stated that for age discrimination lawsuits by private-sector employees, it is the employee’s to prove age was the “but for” (or condition “sine qua non”) cause of the employer’s actions.

This opinion would be later be bolstered in 2020 when, in Babb v. Wilkie, the Court ruled that plaintiffs (employees) need only to prove that age was the “motivating factor” in the employer’s decision which was the subject of their lawsuit. Still, the Court noted that the “but for” cause was still necessary to determine the proper remedy.

Will 2021 see a new landmark case coming from the alleged age discrimination of the ten judges?

The New York Judges Filed an Age Discrimination Lawsuit

The age discrimination lawsuit is led by Justice Bernice Siegal, a justice in the state Supreme Court in Queens. At the time, before the denial of her application to extend employment, Justice Siegal was just a few months shy of 70.

Under the law, judges retire at the age of 70 but can apply for recertification to continue serving. The re-certification application is a request to continue as a judge for another two years, after which a judge may apply again for another two years. Judges may engage in this process three times, until they are 76.

Traditionally, these applications are granted without issue. The decision to deny recertification to 46 judges was not only shocking but outside the regular norms.

The certification board argues that the only reason the judges were denied recertification was to save the state approximately $55 million over the next two years. Also, the denials would allegedly save hundreds of other employees in the judiciary from layoffs. However, the judges who filed the lawsuit believe otherwise, arguing that age was the primary motivating factor of their denial.

It is not yet clear what the outcome of this case will bring. It is quite possible that the decision might pave the way for additional age discrimination lawsuits. As we re-emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and economic realities set in, will more businesses be laying off older, higher-paid workers to make room for new employees?

Will there be a slew of age discrimination lawsuits? We will have to wait and see.

Contact Our Age Discrimination Lawyers Today

If you have lost your job or no one will hire you and think your age is a primary motivating factor, call our lawyers today to find out if you are facing age discrimination.

Our employment discrimination lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP are dedicated to helping you fight for your rights. Call us today at 800-403 6191 or 516-350-5555 to schedule your free employment discrimination consultation.



NYC Woman Claims She was Fired For Being Gay

NYC Woman Claims She Was Fired Because of Her Sexual Orientation

One of the modern age’s better accomplishments is the recognition of gender rights and the resulting laws put in place to protect and preserve those rights. And yet, two decades into the 21st century, people still experience sexual discrimination and harassment in almost all facets of daily life, more particularly at work.

Recently, an NYC woman filed a lawsuit against her former employer, claiming that she was the victim of sexual discrimination and was wrongfully terminated.

According to Tanya Gamble, the discriminatory acts began when she posted on Facebook a video of her engagement with her same-sex partner. The video circulated among her co-workers and, eventually, management. As the days went by, Gamble claims that her colleagues and her supervisors started treating her differently. Soon after, her supervisors told her that the business no longer needed her services. Gamble claims that the revelation of her sexual orientation caused her dismissal, which is unlawful under New York laws.

If you think you have been a victim of gender discrimination or discrimination based on your sexual orientation, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of New York sexual discrimination laws.

What is Gender Discrimination?

Gender or sex discrimination occurs when an employer makes an employment decision based on your gender. Common examples of this include not being given a raise, promotion or opportunity ascompared to your colleagues of a certain gender. Being refused employment based on your gender is another form of gender discrimination.

Under New York law, employers employing 4 or more individuals are not allowed to sexually discriminate.

However, understand that gender discrimination is slightly different from sexual orientation discrimination, which we will be discussing next.

What is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Sexual orientation discrimination is similar to gender discrimination. New York law specifically makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against someone because of the individual’s actual sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. Similarly, the requirement of having 4 or more employees also applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This protection, outlined in the SONDA Act, prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in a variety of situations, including housing, employment, education, and the extension of credit.

More than a decade later, the law was expanded through the passage of the GENDA Act, which added additional terms and protections to the SONDA Act.

What are the SONDA and GENDA Acts?

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act or SONDA was signed into law in 2002 and became effective on January 16, 2003. It is the primary law in New York that protects persons from discrimination by their employers based on their sexual orientation. The law is part of New York’s Human Rights Law.

In 2019, the SONDA was expanded by the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act or GENDA. GENDA added the categories of “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of additional protections from discrimination.

Gender expression differs from sexual orientation. It is the act of expressing one’s gender, including behavior, interests, or individual appearance.

How Do I Know if I Am a Victim of Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Like Tanya Gamble, you might sense that your co-workers are shunning you or that your supervisors have taken a sudden dislike to you and your work product, all because of your sexual orientation. If you experience something similar, remember the following:

  • Employers may not refuse to hire you based on your sexual orientation;
  • Employers may not terminate you upon knowledge or awareness of your sexual orientation;
  • Employers may not change or modify your employment terms and conditions because of your sexual orientation;
  • Employers may not harass, insult, or mock you because of your sexual orientation.

If any of these situations have occurred during your employment and you have suffered adverse consequences, consult our experienced sexual orientation discrimination to find out if you can collect damages.

What Can I Do About Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Under New York law, some rules and regulations govern the procedures and processes you must follow to file a discrimination complaint. You might have to follow internal rules as well. For example, some employers require you to put something in writing explaining the details of the alleged discrimination. You might be able to file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, another applicable government agency, or a lawsuit in court.

A good first step is to reach out to our experienced employment discrimination lawyers and let us help you understand your rights and navigate your case.

Contact Our Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyers Today!

We are here to help. If you think you are a victim of sexual orientation discrimination, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance. To learn more about your rights and get assistance from experienced sexual orientation discrimination lawyers in NYC, call Alonso Krangle, LLP today at 800-403-6191.



Employment Discrimination

Pinterest Employees Stand Up Against Employment Discrimination

On August 14, 2020, Pinterest employees organized a walkout in solidarity with three former colleagues who experienced alleged racial and gender discrimination with the company. Aside from the walkout, there is also an online petition calling out for a systemic change at Pinterest.
The company, which is known for its virtual pin boards and mood boards, has been sued by its former COO, Françoise Brougher.

The employment discrimination lawsuit includes allegations of gender discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. According to the complaint, Brougher was paid less than her male colleagues, was left out of important meetings, and was given gender-related feedback. After complaining about being mistreated, she was then fired.

Before this lawsuit, two Black women who were former employees of the company likewise alleged that they suffered discrimination during their time working at Pinterest. Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks went public with their employment discrimination claims in May, and the company has faced backlash since then.

What Constitutes Employment Discrimination?

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employment discrimination means that someone treats a person ‘differently, or less favorably’ at work because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, national origin, or genetic information.

There are many types of discrimination, and the EEOC protects workers from various kinds.
An example of employment discrimination would be being written up and singled out for discipline because you are black, while your white colleagues never get disciplined for the same infractions. Another example is complaining to the HR about being discriminated against by your superiors, and then being retaliated at for complaining.

Of course, the facts may differ across cases, but there is a similar pattern: that one person gets treated unfavorably because of race, color, religion, sex, age, and others.

What are Some Federal Laws That Protect Workers from Employment Discrimination?

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate someone because of his race, color, religion, national origin, or sex
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act expanded the protection under Title VII to include discriminations due to pregnancy, childbirth, and/or a medical condition related thereto
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits sex-based wage discrimination among men and women who are performing equal work in the same workplace
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects persons with disability and makes it illegal to discriminate against them before or during employment

There are also state and city laws that protect employees from workplace discrimination.

What Are Different Types of Employment Discrimination?

  • Unfair Treatment – This usually happens when a person is treated unfavorably due to his race, color, religion, sex, age, etc. Some examples are singling out a person due to his color and disciplining that person alone when several other employees are involved in an incident.
  • Harassment – Harassment should be so severe that it hinders the employee from performing his or her job. An example would be pestering an employee for sexual favors while working.
  • Denial of a Reasonable Workplace Change – Asking for accommodation because of disabilities or religious beliefs. An example is giving a person with a walking stick or a wheelchair, the task of running errands in a multi-story building without accommodations for his disability.
  • Retaliation Due to Complaints About Job Discrimination, or Because of Investigation or a Lawsuit – This happens when a person is discriminated at work or treated poorly because of complaining about some job discrimination. An example is suddenly demoting a person who has complained about sexual harassment against her immediate superior.

Regardless of the type, if your rights have been violated, we may be able to help.

Call Our Experienced Employment Discrimination to Enforce Your Legal Rights

If you feel discriminated at work, it is always best to consult with lawyers. Our employment discrimination lawyers can help you figure out the best ways to enforce your rights under our laws.

Try to gather information about your discrimination at work so you can have solid evidence against your employer and/or perpetrator. Keep records of relevant emails and statements. This can help you prove your case in the long run.

If you have experienced any kind of employment discrimination at work, our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP, can help figure out the best way to move forward. Our employee discrimination lawyers are experienced helping employees file EEOC charges and lawsuits, and protecting your rights under the applicable laws.

Protect yourself from employment discrimination. Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, today at 800-403-6191 to schedule a free consultation with our employment discrimination lawyers.