Marital Status Discrimination
The attorneys at the Long Island employment lawyers of Famighetti & Weinick PLLC represent clients in all aspects of Marital Status Discrimination cases. Marital status is a protected class under both New York State law and New York City law. Federal law also provides protections to a federal employees based on their marital status. If you believe you have been the victim of Martial Status Discrimination, the Long Island discrimination attorneys at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC can help.
Unlike most of the protected classes under federal law, marital status is not a protected status under the Civil Rights Act, and complaints of marital status discrimination in the workplace are not investigated and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Instead, federal employees are protected from marital status discrimination under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA). Instead of the EEOC, marital status discrimination under CSRA is investigated and enforced by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
Similar to filing a complaint with the EEOC based on other protected class categories, a federal employee who feels that they have been the victim of marital status discrimination may file a complaint with the MSPB and the OSC. Again, only federal employees are protected from marital status discrimination under CSRA. Private employees do not enjoy protections from marital discrimination under federal law and instead must look to New York State and New York City laws.
In New York State, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of marital status. As with other protected classes under the NYSHRL, the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) is the agency that investigates and enforces complaints of marital status discrimination. It is also important to note that if you are an employee in New York City, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) provides protections against marital status discrimination. The enforcement agency for such complaints is the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR).
What are some examples of marital status discrimination? If a prospective employer asks whether you are married, and you ultimately are not offered the position, your marital status may have affected the employer's decision. If the employer did base its decision on that piece of information, that is marital status discrimination. Moreover, if your employer finds out your marital status after you are employed and thereafter begins treating you differently, or making unwelcome or harassing comments based on your marital status, you likely have a claim for marital status discrimination. If you are in a same-sex marriage and your employer discriminates against you on that basis, you likely have a claim for both marital status discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination.
In addition to the above-mentioned examples, the Appellate Division for New York's First Department expanded the definition of marital status discrimination in the employment context under the NYCHRL. In the case Morse v. Fidessa Corp., the Court held that the NYCHRL's provision on marital status discrimination covers not only whether an employee is married, but it also provides protections based on the identity of the employee's spouse. This means that if your employer discovers your spouse is someone they do not like and then terminate your employment based solely on that reason, you likely have a claim for marital status discrimination in New York City.
As with other protected classes under the NYSHRL and NYCHRL, your employer may not retaliate against you for complaining of marital status discrimination or for filing a complaint of discrimination with the NYSDHR or NYCCHR.
The Long Island employment lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are experienced in handling all types of marital status discrimination cases, whether on Long Island or in New York City. Please call us today for a confidential consultation if you believe your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your marital status. The Marital Status Discrimination lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC can help.