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Familial Status Discrimination

Employment discrimination in New York is prohibited by federal, state and local laws. Usually, these laws mirror each other and generally prohibit the same types of discrimination. Familial status discrimination, however, is expressly prohibited by New York State law, but not by federal law. For this reason, among others, victims of familial status discrimination in New York should speak to a knowledgeable Long Island familial status discrimination lawyer, such as those at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC.

The New York State Human Rights Law, a part of New York's Executive Law, prohibits employers who have more than four employers from discriminating against employees based on the employee's familial status. Like most legal terms, familial status has a specific meaning. Under the Human Rights Law, familial status means anyone who is pregnant or has a child or in trying to obtain custody of a person under 18 years old (i.e. adopting a child). In addition, the law protects people under 18 who live with a parent or other person with legal custody of him or her.

What constitutes discrimination under the familial status section of the Human Rights law? Familial status discrimination can occur when the employer make an employment decision based on an unlawful consideration of the person's familial status. Employment decisions can include whether to hire or fire the individual, promote the person, alter an employee's pay, or subject the employee to less favorable working conditions.

The New York State Division of Human Rights enforces New York's Human Rights Law and investigates claims of unlawful familial status discrimination. The Division has provided guidance on the types of things an employer may not consider about a person when making an employment decision. Some examples include making decisions based on: whether the employee has children at home; whether the employer considers that the employee has too many children; the fact that a father may be a single parent with custody of children; pregnancy; or believing that an employee will not be reliable because he or she is a parent.

Notably, the familial status provision does not require that employers accommodate employees in ways in which they are not otherwise required to accommodate employees. For example, an employer would not be liable for familial status discrimination simply by prohibiting an employee from taking time off to attend a child's school conference. But, if the employer regularly allows employees to take time off for personal reasons and the employer denied this employee specifically to prevent the employee from attending a child's school conference, then this may be unlawful familial status discrimination.

Additionally, familial status discrimination does not include nepotism. In other words, employers may choose to hire their own family members instead of other qualified applicants. This would not be unlawful discrimination on Long Island.

Familial status discrimination may intersect with other employment laws. For example, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of leave for qualified employees to care for a sick or injured family member. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and other provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law prohibit discrimination based on an employee's pregnancy. For these reasons, employees facing discrimination should speak to a Long Island familial status attorney to determine which laws may be applicable.

Familial status discrimination is illegal on Long Island. To discuss your discrimination case with a Long Island familial status discrimination lawyer, call Famighetti & Weinick PLLC at (631) 352-0050.

Client Reviews
From my personal experience, Matthew Weinick has always managed to go above and beyond as an attorney. While handling my case, he was very professional, supportive and reassuring. It was easy to see his devotion in bringing me justice from day one. I saw how invested he was which motivated me to take the stand and fight for my rights. I am extremely grateful that he agreed to take on my case and I could not have asked for better legal representation or consult. Ariel Kaygisiz
Very grateful for all the hard work! Mr. Famighetti did an amazing job. He was very knowledgeable and I was always kept up to date on the details of our matter. I appreciate the attentiveness and the time taken to explain each step and answer any questions I had during the process. I would absolutely recommend Mr. Famighetti and his firm Famighetti & Weinick to anyone. Danielle
Matt Weinick is an excellent attorney. With his assistance I was able to get exonerated from false allegations against me. Sara
Mr. Weinick is the utmost professional. I called him for help with an employment issue and I was in his office the next day for a free, almost hour long, consultation. I ultimately retained him for his services and his professionalism continued, he is extremely talented and well versed in employment law and he answers emails immediately, he even emailed me a few times to check on how things were progressing. I cannot thank Mr. Weinick enough for his help, and I wouldn't hesitate to call him again if necessary. Hopefully there will be no need, but in today's employment landscape you never know. Thanks again. Tom Orlik