Protected Classes and Implications on Employment Law in New York

Protected Classes and Implications on Employment Law in New York

The aim of employment law is to create workplaces that are fair and equitable. That is the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of specific gender, group, or ethnic identities. 

Any and all discrimination in the workplace contributes to a hostile environment. It’s a net loss for all parties involved. Yet, discrimination continues. Why? According to a prominent employment lawyer, acts of discrimination have become more covert. A professional legal investigation is required to identify evidence of discrimination such as…

Genetic Information

The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) protects individuals from discrimination based on their genetic information. This includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of family members, as well as any manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members. Employers cannot make employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, or promoting, based on genetic information.


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Women dealing with pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations. This protection ensures that pregnant employees are not unfairly dismissed, demoted, or denied reasonable accommodations. 


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace. This law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. Disability discrimination can manifest in various ways, including refusal to hire, termination, or failure to provide reasonable accommodations. 

Military Status

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members from discrimination based on their military status or obligations. Employers cannot deny employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment based on an individual’s membership, application for membership, performance of service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services. 

Partnership Status

In some jurisdictions, laws also protect individuals based on their partnership status, ensuring that employees are not discriminated against because of their marital status, domestic partnership, or civil union. Employers must treat employees equally, regardless of whether they are single, married, or in a domestic partnership. Discrimination based on partnership status can affect benefits, compensation, and workplace opportunities. 

When suspecting discrimination, it’s best to trust your gut and reach out to an employment law attorney. These individuals have specialized in the nuances of the law and employment, identifying exactly how to litigate and get justice in cases such as this! With this, not only is the employer punished, but you stand to get compensation for your suffering. 

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