Representing Employers, Employees And Citizens With Workplace And Housing Discrimination Claims
Gould & Berg, LLP routinely represents employees, employers, landlords and tenants who need legal assistance with workplace and housing discrimination or retaliation claims. With decades of combined experience, they are trusted and respected attorneys who have forged successful outcomes for people and entities facing these types of difficult and often personal situations. Our representation of both employers and employees in all type of employment related claims and disputes provides us with a uniquely well rounded perspective in effectively handling these claims.
Representation For Employees
Employees in many different fields face hostile work environments and discrimination because of certain characteristics or traits that are covered by various local, state and federal laws. This could include harassment or discrimination that is take in part due to their gender, pregnancy, race, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual preference, military service or domestic violence victim status.
In some cases, particularly in the area of disability discrimination, an employee may request a leave pursuant to short term disability policies or under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Or the employee may find they should make a request for a reasonable accommodation to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of their job. The question of what is a reasonable accommodation is a fact intensive inquiry and numerous factors are taken into account to determine the reasonableness of the request, including the employee’s job responsibilities, work environment, circumstances and location, ability to perform the requirements of the job, cost of any accommodation to the employer, and whether the accommodation would cause a disruption or impose a hardship to the employer.
Defense For Employers
We also get calls from human resources, personnel managers and business owners who have received workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation complaints from their current or former employees. These employers need guidance not only on how to handle these types of complaints internally but also how to respond to complaints with the goal of minimizing the risk of litigation over the matter. In the event litigation ensues, we can work with you to strategically defend claims once they are filed with any state and federal agencies and the state and federal courts.
If you have received an internal complaint, we will assist you in conducting an appropriate investigation to determine how best to respond to the complaint. Determining from the outset whether the alleged actions are unlawful and how best to handle the complaint is important to minimize the employer’s potential exposure to a damages claim.
In defending claims, we must take into consideration many factors including the nature of the allegations, the frequency of the behavior complained of, the damages alleged by the employee, the size of the employer, and the potential risk to the employer should an employee succeed in litigation to recover damages and in some cases attorney’s fees. Business owners facing these issues should reach out to our experienced team for guidance before responding to any complaint or taking any action themselves.
Many employees are often afraid to speak up or file a complaint when they are the target of harassment or discrimination. This is because they rely on their income stream and benefits and they fear they will be fired or retaliated against in some manner by their employer for bringing a complaint forward. As an employee, if you are experiencing any form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, we can help you by guiding you in making a protected complaint and, in the event retaliatory action follows, seeking redress for the harm you have suffered.
However, if an employee has made a good faith complaint of harassment or discrimination premised upon gender, pregnancy, race, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual preference, military status or domestic violence victim status, the law prohibits retaliation against them for having made this type of protected complaint. As an employer, we can provide you with practical advice on how to avoid or minimize the risk of a retaliation claim being brought against you.
Housing Discrimination Claims
Along with workplace discrimination claims, our lawyers also represent individuals who have been denied the sale, rental or financing for an apartment or home on the basis of gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age or marital status.
Such discrimination is illegal under many laws including the Fair Housing Act and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act. If you feel you have faced such discrimination, contact our team of knowledgeable attorneys for assistance.
Contact Our Team For Guidance
The bottom line in the area of discrimination, harassment and retaliation is that each situation must be evaluated on a case by case basis. This area of law is far from black and white. The terms harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination and retaliation can encompass any number of actions, including actions allegedly taken because of an employee’s gender, pregnancy, race, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual preference, military status, or domestic violence victim status. Harassment and discrimination can take many forms, including treating employees differently, changing job duties or job requirements, counseling or disciplining an employee, imposing rules that were not in place before, and employment decisions relating to hiring, promotion, suspension and termination.
Employers and employees alike should seek the assistance of an experienced employment law attorney who can provide guidance in this area.