By Jack Tuckner, Esq.
If you work for an employer as an independent contractor, so-called, or a consultant or a vendor but you’re paid on a 1099 as opposed to an IRS form W-2, where no taxes are withheld, and you pay estimates, or pay your taxes at the end of the year, you’re technically not an employee. So, if you’re being discriminated against, if you’re being subjected to a hostile work environment, you do not have “standing” under United States law to bring a claim and hold your employer accountable.
Now, under New York City law, the anti-discrimination statute that applies to all employees working in the five boroughs that comprise New York City, you are covered for all discrimination claims, even if you’re an independent contractor.
But now, as of July 2018, if you work anywhere in New York State, outside of New York City and the remaining 28 counties and you are subjected to sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, or unwelcome sexual attention, you can hold your employer accountable. You do now have standing to bring a claim against your employer, even if you’re an independent contractor, consultant, or a vendor, a so-called non-employee. Now you may sue your employer.
This is pretty substantial news. So, if you’re in this situation, or someone you love is being sexually harassed in the workplace, [working for] any employer in New York State, and [she] is not technically an employee, they may still hold their employer’s feet to the fire.
So, first thing you must do is, don’t quit. And the second thing you should do is call a Plaintiff-side employment lawyer in New York, such as this firm, and we’ll be happy to brainstorm with you about your workplace issues, and how to properly navigate those challenges, so that you may get some measure of workplace gender justice. This is Jack Tuckner. Feel free to give me a call. The consultation is always free of charge, and completely confidential.