Discrimination comes in many different forms, all of which are punishable by law. Meenan & Associates has a myriad of experience advocating for individuals who experience many different types of discrimination including on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, ethnicity, national origin, age and disability. We bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as an empathetic ear, and trustworthy counsel.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Despite appearances of equality—the ratification of gay marriage in some states, for example, and the proliferation of support for gay and transgendered people in the media—sexual orientation discrimination is still very much present in the workplace. Whether you’re a gay, straight or trans-gendered individual, you deserve respect and fair treatment at your job. Meenan & Associates can provide counsel on whether or not you have a case against your employer for mistreating you based on your sexual identity or for sticking up for someone who you believe is being mistreated because of his or her sexual identity.
Colleen Meenan has litigated numerous cases – some to jury verdicts- for individuals who have experienced sexual identity bias. In 2007, she successfully tried and won a case against the New York City Police Department for a former NYPD sergeant. Robert Sorrenti was passed over for an assignment working with youth and protested the decision. In 2007 a jury found the NYPD had discriminated against him and retaliated against him when he complained about his treatment. After a trial lasting almost 30 days, the jury awarded Sorrenti considerable damages. The perseverance and expertise of Colleen Meenan were critical to Sorrenti’s victory. In 2013, Ms. Meenan assisted by Ms. Quilty-Lake earned a victorious decision before the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. The Court vindicated a lower court decision finding a school aid had presented sufficient evidence that her employer discriminated against her based upon her sexual orientation and the case could proceed to trial.
It’s one of the oldest tales in the book. You’re a professional with decades of experience working in your field. You are great at what you do. But someone younger than you gets hired at your company, someone who will work for less money, and you get pushed out, either overtly or not so blatantly. You have been a dedicated and loyal employee who has committed no wrong. You have just gotten older. Given your age, you know that it will be hard to find a new position. You have a family to provide for, and not enough money saved for retirement. You don’t know what to do.
Fortunately, the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, as well as local and state law, protects employees from being fired because of their age. Instead, it states that employees much be judged based on their abilities. If you feel as though you’ve been the victim of a demotion, pay cut, or unfair termination due to the fact that you’re getting older, Meenan & Associates can provide legal assistance to ensure that you are not only secure at your current position, but that you are financially rewarded for emotional or financial stress due to age discrimination. We know how tough the workplace is these days, and we want to help ensure that you, a talented and hard worker, will continue contributions you’ve made over your many years of employment.
You may have lived with it for your entire life. Or it may have become a problem in recent years. Regardless, your disability does not disqualify you from fair and equal treatment in the workplace. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, in 2009 (ADAAA), as well as other local and state laws, if you are a qualified individual with a disability, your employer must afford you the right to work. Based upon the cost, the employer may also be required to modify your work location or assignments so that you can work with a disability.
A disability—whether you have suffered loss of hearing or cancer—doesn’t need to ruin your work life and professional experience. Meenan & Associates will ensure that the law is followed and that your rights are respected. Contact Meenan & Associates if you believe that you are the victim of disability discrimination.
Pregnancy is the happiest of times for most women. This miraculous event should not be ruined by unfair work related treatment. Under Federal, state and city law, if an employee is temporarily unable to perform her job due to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer must treat her just as they would a temporarily disabled employee.
Whether you feel that you are being overlooked for promotion or you are terminated from your job once your employer knows of your pregnancy or after your baby is born, or that the length of your maternity leave prevents you from truly recovering from the birth of your child, Meenan & Associates can provide valuable legal counsel and peace of mind.
Even though you know that you are being unfairly treated because of the way you look, you’re not sure that the behavior is punishable by law. But the definition of racial discrimination may be broader than you think. According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), racial discrimination includes discrimination based upon ancestry or physical or cultural characteristics associated with a certain race, such as skin color, hair texture or styles, or certain facial features. Color discrimination refers to skin pigmentation (lightness or darkness of the skin), complexion, shade, or tone.
In 2005, Colleen Meenan successfully tried to verdict a case on behalf of Samuel Elliot, a Jamaican born employee of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). There, Mr. Elliot was frequently subjected to racial harassment and retaliation for reporting it. Because of the color of his skin, ethnicity, and natural origin, he was not only bombarded with racial slurs and threats, he also was demoted from an administrative position. Mr. Elliot’s case was tried before a federal jury in the Southern District of New York and he was successful in proving his claims of race discrimination. The jury awarded Mr. Elliot a significant amount of monetary damages. Contact Meenan & Associates if you believe that you are the victim of race discrimination.
National Origin Discrimination
The United States is the melting pot of the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all nationalities are treated equally. According to the EEOC, national origin discrimination covers people who are being treated differently because of where they are from, their accents, whether or not they are perceived to be American, or because of an assumed ethnic background. It not only applies to immigrants, but also to Americans working of non-Americans.
Meenan & Associates can help navigate unfair treatment based on national origin. The first step is making an appointment to tell us about how you believe that you are being unfairly treated. If negotiation fails, Meenan & Associates will file a court challenge. Through litigation, the firm will seek compensation for your injuries, past and present. Contact Meenan & Associates if you believe that you are the victim of national origin discrimination.
Being treated differently at work because of your gender doesn’t have to manifest in harassment. Any type of setback at work based on your gender, whether you are a man or a woman, may be against the law, especially if it directly affects your daily work life, career opportunities or ability to advance.
All forms of disparate treatment based upon gender are prohibited by law including differences in salary, promotion, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holidays, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. Colleen Meenan was successful in assisting a highly qualified and commended female officer obtain promotion, in the Suffolk County police department, when less qualified males were selected instead.
Meenan & Associates has extensive experience litigating sex discrimination in the workplace. Let Meenan & Associates assist you with confronting your unfair treatment, ensure that you are awarded damages, if appropriate, and given the respect you deserve.