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Direct And Indirect Discrimination: Legal Experts Lead The Charge Against Inequality

New York is known for its diversity and progressiveness and has some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination persists in many parts of the state and continues to impede the professional growth and personal well-being of countless individuals.

Workplace discrimination can be direct and overt at times and indirect and subtle at some other times – depending on the circumstances. Regardless of the circumstances, both direct and indirect discrimination at the workplace is prohibited under state law as well as federal law. If you’re a victim of workplace discrimination, you need legal help to hold your employer and other parties (if any) accountable.

At Levine & Blit, we are dedicated to addressing workplace discrimination and fighting for the rights of those who are treated differently for simply being who they are. We have a team of highly-rated New York employment law attorneys who are well-versed in state and federal anti-discrimination laws and have a proven track record of success in handling workplace discrimination claims. Talk to one of our New York workplace discrimination lawyers today and take the first step towards protecting your rights in the workplace.

👉Also read: Breaking Barriers: How Employment Law Offices Tackle Workplace Discrimination Headlong

Understanding Direct and Indirect Discrimination in the Workplace

Direct workplace discrimination may happen when you are treated less favorably or disadvantaged explicitly because of your race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic.

This form of discrimination tends to be overt and blatant – involving actions, behaviors, or remarks that are discriminatory. Direct discrimination occurs in many cases as unequal treatment in hiring, job assignments, promotions, compensation, and termination based on an individual’s protected characteristics.

Indirect workplace discrimination – also referred to as disparate impact discrimination – happens when a seemingly neutral policy, practice, or rule in the workplace disproportionately affects a group of people belonging to a particular protected characteristic.

Unlike direct discrimination, indirect discrimination is often unintentional and may appear fair on the surface. Still, it has an adverse impact on a specific group, which makes it indirectly discriminatory. Indirect discrimination can occur in areas like hiring criteria, job requirements, or workplace policies that unintentionally disadvantage employees based on their protected characteristics.

Difference between Direct and Indirect Workplace Discrimination


Direct discrimination involves intentional and purposeful unequal treatment based on a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination may often take place inadvertently – with no explicit intent to discriminate. Still, it has a disproportionately adverse impact on a particular group of people.


Direct discrimination is obvious and easy to recognize, as it involves explicitly discriminatory statements and actions. Indirect discrimination is often disguised in the form of neutral policies and rules, which can make it difficult to recognize.

Legal Perspective

From a legal point of view, direct discrimination is generally easy to prove due to its explicit nature. Indirect discrimination, on the other hand, is a lot more difficult to prove, as it requires demonstrating the disproportionate impact on a particular group of people using statistical evidence and analysis.

Examples of Direct Workplace Discrimination

Common examples of different types of discrimination in the workplace (direct discrimination) include:

  • Paying employees differently for the same job because of their protected characteristic
  • Refusing to hire candidates because of their protected characteristic
  • Assigning jobs, projects, or responsibilities based on stereotypes associated with an employee’s protected characteristic
  • Denying promotions to qualified employees based on their protected characteristic
  • Providing training opportunities to certain employees while excluding certain others based on their protected characteristic
  • Engaging in verbal and physical harassment based on an employee’s protected characteristic and creating a hostile work environment
  • Denying reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, breastfeeding employees, and disabled employees

Examples of Indirect Workplace Discrimination

Common examples of different types of discrimination in the workplace (indirect discrimination) include:

  • Requiring all employees to adhere to a specific dress code, making it difficult for employees belonging to a particular ethnic background or religion to comply without compromising their cultural or religious practices
  • Enforcing an English-only policy in the workplace when there is no need to do so, disadvantaging employees whose first language is not English
  • Establishing unnecessary or overly strict job requirements that are not essential for the role, excluding individuals with disabilities or specific educational backgrounds – often belonging to marginalized groups
  • Requiring tests or assessments that are unrelated to job performance and disproportionately impact candidates based on their race, gender, or other protected characteristics
  • Implementing inflexible working hours that might disproportionately affect employees with caregiving responsibilities
  • Failing to provide accessible facilities in the workplace, disadvantaging pregnant employees and employees with disabilities

How the Experienced New York Workplace Discrimination Attorneys at Levine & Blit Can Build a Strong Case Against Your Employer

Building a strong workplace discrimination claim requires careful preparation, thorough documentation, and a strategic approach. Here is how the New York employment law attorneys at Levine & Blit can build a strong workplace discrimination claim against your employer.

  • We’ll conduct a detailed interview to understand your situation and determine if you have a valid workplace discrimination claim.
  • We’ll gather all the relevant evidence – including emails, memos, text messages, photographs, witness statements, performance evaluations, and more – to prove the discrimination you were subjected to.
  • We’ll interview your colleagues, supervisors, and other individuals who witnessed the discriminatory behavior or can attest to your performance at work.
  • We’ll guide you on how to keep a detailed record of incidents – including dates, times, locations, people involved, and a description of what happened.
  • We’ll review your employer’s policies and workplace rules to identify any inconsistencies or violations that can be used to demonstrate discriminatory behavior on their part.
  • We’ll assist you in filing complaints with administrative agencies like the New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Commission on Human Rights, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We will make sure the complaints are accurate, comprehensive, and filed within the specified deadlines. We will also guide you through the investigation and administrative proceedings.
  • We’ll negotiate with your employer or their legal representative to obtain a fair settlement without going to court. If negotiations fail, we will build a compelling case to be presented in court.
  • In cases of indirect discrimination, we might use comparative evidence to demonstrate disparate treatment. It can show how other employees with similar qualifications and performance were treated more favorably, highlighting the discriminatory treatment you received.
  • We’ll establish a link between the discrimination you were subjected to and the adverse employment consequences you suffered using documentary evidence, comparative evidence, and circumstantial evidence.
  • We’ll conduct in-depth research to identify relevant case law and legal precedents that can strengthen your claim.
  • We’ll use the collected evidence to construct persuasive legal arguments – highlighting your employer’s discriminatory actions, the impact on your work environment and performance, and the violations of applicable state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

By employing the aforementioned strategies, we can build a strong workplace discrimination case against your employer and maximize your chances of obtaining a just resolution for the discrimination you experienced.

Expert Witnesses Our Lawyers Will Use to Strengthen Your Workplace Discrimination Claim

Expert witnesses bring specialized knowledge to the table and their professional opinion can bolster your case to a great extent. Given below is a brief list of expert witnesses we may use to strengthen your workplace discrimination claim against your employer.

  • Vocational experts
  • Psychologists and other mental health experts
  • Human resources professionals
  • Economists
  • Disability accommodation experts
  • Statisticians
  • Language or accent experts

What Sets Our Workplace Discrimination Attorneys Apart from Others

Expertise and Experience

Our legal team consists of seasoned attorneys with extensive knowledge of employment law and Equality Act. We have years of experience in navigating complex legal challenges and have represented clients in a wide range of employment law related cases. Our in-depth understanding of state and federal laws allows us to provide exceptional legal counsel and achieve favorable outcomes for our clients.

Client-Centric Approach

We prioritize our clients above all else. We take the time to understand each client’s unique situation and concerns, build strong attorney-client relationships based on trust and open communication, and personalize our legal strategies to meet our client’s specific needs.

Track Record of Success

We have a proven track record of success in handling direct and indirect workplace discrimination claims as well as a wide range of other cases including sexual harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, and wage and hour disputes. We have successfully represented employees from diverse backgrounds, obtained favorable settlements and verdicts, and recovered substantial compensation.

Comprehensive Legal Support

We offer comprehensive legal support – from providing proactive legal advice to litigating complex cases in court. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that our clients receive well-rounded, effective legal solutions tailored to their specific needs.

👉Also read: Age Discrimination in the Workplace and Why We Do Not Tolerate It!

Discriminated at Work? Let Our Seasoned New York Workplace Discrimination Lawyers Help You!

If you are being discriminated against at work, you do not have to face it alone. At Levine & Blit, we have a team of highly-rated New York workplace discrimination attorneys who are ready to help you fight for your rights and get justice. We can provide compassionate and comprehensive legal assistance and help you get the compensation and other benefits you deserve.

Call us today at 646-461-6838 or use our online contact form to schedule a free evaluation consultation with one of our top-rated New York workplace discrimination attorneys.

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