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How do employees file discrimination complaints in New York?

The last half-century in particular has seen legislation at the federal and state levels outlawing discrimination in various places, including the workplace. However, some New York employers still subject their employees to employment discrimination, whether intentionally or unknowingly. In such instances, workers should not hesitate to air their grievances and demand that the discriminatory actions cease immediately.

How can workers be sure they were victims of discrimination? Discrimination means being treated in a less favorable way because of race, age, gender, disability, religion, political belief, national origin, sexual orientation or employment status. People who are discriminated against are often harassed, not hired or denied promotions or service.

What protections can workers rely on when they complain about discrimination? Workers who are discriminated against are protected by both federal law and New York law. The protection also extends to anyone who files a complaint or is part of a lawsuit or investigation against an employer.

When a worker decides to file a complaint, what should it contain? The complaint should include pertinent information about the worker-the worker's name, phone number and address-and the company. The complaint should clearly indicate when, how, where and what type of discrimination took place, and any possible reasons why. Names of those involved, their job titles or positions and any other details should also be included.

Is there a limit to filing such complaints? Yes, complaints filed 180 days after the date the discriminatory act occurred can be declared invalid.

Finally, New York workers should bear in mind that an employment law attorney or similar representative can file a complaint on their behalf. This will not have any adverse effect on their cases. Working with a professional is actually a good way for workers to find out more about their employment rights and possible remedies they may have.

Source:, "How to File a Discrimination Claim," Accessed on Nov. 5, 2014

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