Employment Law FAQs: Dell & Dean, PLLC

How do I prove my case?

Most clients want to know how they will prove their case, or whether it is simply "my word against theirs."

In reality, there are several ways to demonstrate you have experienced discrimination and harassment. However, you can help your cause by keeping a journal of discriminatory and harassing behaviors, and saving emails and other communication that demonstrates harassment and discrimination.

Can I record conversations proving harassment or discrimination?

Many employees who experience harassment and discrimination want to prove it is occurring by recording conversations. You can record conversations, in the sense that there is nothing illegal about it — at least in New York, and so long as you are participating in the conversation. You cannot record conversations you are not a part of. However, while New York is a "one party consent" state for recordings, not all states follow this rule.

In addition, it is important to speak to an experienced workplace discrimination attorney as soon as possible when experiencing discrimination or harassment and before taking significant action. We can walk you through how to gather evidence, ensure everything you collect is admissible in court, and otherwise help you establish your case while protecting your rights.

For example, it could be against company policy to record conversations at work — meaning the company could argue it has a legitimate reason to take adverse action against you (i.e. termination) for recording conversations. That is why it is important to have a knowledgeable guide helping you through this complex and difficult area of the law.

What laws protect me against discrimination and sexual harassment?

In New York, federal, state and local ordinances may all provide protections against workplace discrimination and harassment. The most well-known is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prevents workplace discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, color and religion. Other laws may apply in your situation, including the Americans With Disabilities Act, state laws regarding LGBT workers, and others.

Keep in mind that most employment agreements are at-will. That means employers do not have to prove they had a good reason to terminate an employee. Instead, you must show that the reason was discriminatory, and you are protected under an applicable law.

To learn about what laws apply in your situation and your legal rights and options, call us to schedule a free consultation.

Can I be fired for reporting discrimination or harassment?

No. This is true whether you report it to your organization, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or file a lawsuit alleging discrimination and harassment. Employers who take adverse action against an employee for reporting discrimination or harassment are liable for further damages in a lawsuit.

Is it worth it to speak to a lawyer?

Understandably, many people hesitate to contact an attorney. It is a big step, and you may feel like it isn't worth your time or an attorney won't take your case. Maybe you don't want to draw attention to yourself or are worried about what will happen to your job.

At Dell & Dean, PLLC, all of our actions are geared to your best interests. This means we will walk you through your options, and then you decide the path forward. We will not pressure you to do anything — we are here to be your legal guides and advocates.

We represent clients in Nassau County and surrounding areas. Call us at 866-290-5475 or reach us online to schedule your free consultation.