It is unlawful for employers in New York to discriminate against employees during any part of the job process. Discrimination in employment is defined as the adverse treatment of an employee or potential employee based on a protected classification. Protected classifications include characteristics such as race, gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation.

Some employers make workplace discrimination obvious by making offensive statements or expressing an admitted prejudice against people from certain groups. However, many employers understand that discrimination is illegal, so they will try to keep it hidden. Covert discrimination that is more difficult to identify is still illegal, and employers may get into trouble when members of a certain protected class are treated unfairly in the workplace.

Discrimination can sometimes manifest in the form of harassment when an employer uses a racial slur or makes fun of an employee’s religion. In other cases, an employer might practice discriminatory hiring practices by repeatedly denying employment to people from a certain group. Even if a discriminatory boss has hired a person, the boss may later discriminate against the person by not offering him or her any advancement opportunities. Sometimes, employers also commit illegal workplace discrimination against employees who associate with people from a protected class.

Someone who was treated unfairly at work due to his or her race, religion or other protected characteristic may want to speak to an attorney about what happened. Employment law for employees can be a complex subject, and an attorney may help an individual to decide what steps to take to pursue financial compensation from his or her employer. In many cases, an employee who was discriminated against has suffered financial losses that may be recovered through litigation.