Statutory Scheme and Employment Law Rights
One of the common issues for employees who feel they have been treated unfairly is that they do not know what protections they are entitled to under the laws. There are many statutes that are relevant to both employees and employers, clarifying certain rights and responsibilities. The following is a brief summary of some of the common laws affecting employment lawsuits in New York and Connecticut:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This is probably the most well known employment discrimination law. It specifically prohibits any discrimination in the workplace on the bases of sex (gender), race, color, religion, or national origin. The statute also addresses sexual harassment and discrimination based upon pregnancy or having a child. While this is a comprehensive law, it only applies to employers who have at least fifteen employees.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 629 et seq. (ADEA)
A statute that only applies to employers with at least twenty employees, this Act prohibits discrimination against individuals who are forty years or older.
The American With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (ADA)
This Act prohibits employers with fifteen or more employees from discriminating against a qualified individual who has a disability.
The Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.
Under this Act, FMLA, an employer with fifty or more employees must provide eligible employees with unpaid family and/or medical leave, as well as job protection while on that leave. Those who are eligible may receive up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve month period under specific circumstances.
The Fair Labor Standards Act/Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
This act applies to all employers, regardless of how many employees they have. It does not require that there is intent to discriminate in order for it to be applicable. Under this act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate with respect to pay based on an individual’s gender.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq. (OSHA)
This statute is focused on workplace safety, especially protecting employees from exposure to hazardous materials such as asbestos.
The Older Worker’s Benefit and Protection Act
This statute, an amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, specifies protections for older workers. It also clearly lists the requirements for waiving ADEA claims. Some of the common provisions in separation agreements are derived from this Act, such as the twenty one day review period and seven day revocation period.
The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, C.G.S. § 46a-60 et seq.
This state law covers similar grounds to federal anti-discrimination laws and expands upon them. Under this Act, all employers are prohibited from discriminating based upon marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, and genetic information, regardless of the number of employees.
At Maya Murphy, we represent employees in New York and Connecticut who are protected under any and all of these statutes. We are able to explain the laws to our clients and the protections they are entitled to under them. If you feel you have been mistreated by your employer or in your place of employment and would like to explore your employment law options, contact us today. We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients in both New York and Connecticut including New Canaan, Bridgeport, White Plains, and Darien.