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Employment discrimination basics for New Yorkers

Most New Yorkers believe that discrimination in any form is unacceptable. Unfortunately, discrimination persists in many areas of American life. One of them is the workplace. Fortunately, both the federal and state governments have been addressing employment discrimination in the last few decades, allowing workers to stand up for themselves and to seek redress when they have been discriminated against on the job.

Workplace discrimination comes in many forms. Most New Yorkers are undoubtedly familiar with the concepts and practice of both racial and sexual discrimination, but wage and age discrimination continue to be workplace problems, as does discrimination based on disability, marital status and criminal record. No matter the type, discrimination is prohibited by law in New York. It is considered an affront to both labor and civil rights.

One protection provided by law is allowing workers to file discrimination claims when they feel their rights have been infringed. A claim can be filed in a state agency such as the Division of Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agencies' work-sharing agreement means only one claim has to be filed.

Unfortunately, the protection is time limited. A claim must be filed within one year of the alleged discrimination action or incident. All workers are strongly advised to consult an employment law attorney about the merits of their case. Not all cases can or should be settled in court. With the guided mediation of a trained and experienced attorneys, employers and workers can sometimes settle their differences out of court in ways that benefit both parties.

Source:, "Filing a Discrimination Claim - New York," Accessed on Sep. 3, 2014

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