Why this is also really big news is that federal law, the federal Arbitration Act, case law interpreting it – permits employers to require employees who are starting a job as a condition of that employment to accept the notion that you give up your right to a jury trial, you give up your right to hold your employer accountable in court in a public forum for free when, if and when, you’re being discriminated against.
If you’re being sexually harassed, subjected to unwelcome sexual attention, a hostile work environment due to your sex – up until April 2018, you wouldn’t be covered if you weren’t a W-2 employee.
Glamour Magazine for its Solidarity Issue of June/July 2018 reached out to Jack Tuckner, Esq. with the question — How should the average person handle sexual harassment at work?
Whatever the challenge you’re facing, whether it is something related to pregnancy, or you have influenza, or a more serious issue and you need your employer to work with you, be flexible, compassionate, reasonably accommodate you – make sure that you’re documenting all of this, putting it in writing, so you’ll have a paper trail, because your employer can’t just be dismissive and cavalier and say, “Sorry, it’s too much of a pain in the butt for us, we’re not dealing with you anymore.” That would be illegal disability discrimination.
If your company doesn’t correct what they are doing that is discriminatory toward you as a result of your pregnancy, which is inseparable from who you are as a woman obviously, you wanna be in a position where they would have to make you happy in the separation. If you have to get a divorce from your company, you want to be able to leave with your head held high, and your shoulders squared.
It’s the law, it’s the federal law if your employer has 15 employees, and if you work, depending on where you work, if you work in New York State, four employees. But chances are, if you work for an employer with at least 15 employees, you’re covered and it’s illegal when your employer disciplines you, or fires you because of their no-fault policy when you are pregnant.
If you work for a small employer in Connecticut, and your employer isn’t being flexible with you during your pregnancy, isn’t allowing you to sit down occasionally, or to take time to go to doctors, or to take a maternity leave; or when you come back from maternity leave, to express milk at work for your baby – all of this is now required by the Connecticut Human Rights Law with regard to your sex and your pregnancy.
Even if there is only one employee, one 1099 employee and that’s you, and you are being sexually harassed, you can fight back. Also under the same new revised law, effective July 2018, mandatory arbitration will no longer be mandatory for sexual harassment claims in New York.
Only if the real reason is based on the illegal factors embodied in the federal or state discrimination laws, then you got some leverage to hold your employer accountable.
The only bullying that is illegal is if you’re being treated differently because of who you are as a woman, a person of color, because of your religion, your age, your disability, your pregnancy, or because you decline unwelcome sexual advances at work – then you are being discriminated against, retaliated against, or just treated badly – that’s all illegal.