Q: My gf works in a hospital in ny state.
My gf is African american and is called the "N" word on a daily basis. Shes reported it to her boss, and HR. Today her boss told her to stop sweating the small stuff and get along with everyone. They refuse to fire any of them or take disciplinary action.
She signed some contract that prevents her from seeing the hospital in question. My question can she sue her boss and the individuals calling her the "N" word, or are they all protected? She wants to leak it to the paper but in the contract she can be sued for doing so. Is there anything she can do to right this wrong?
A: Hospital employees are in short supply today given the crisis we face. But that does not excuse discrimination.
She may have settled or resolved past claims with this employer. An employment lawyer needs to review whatever agreements she may have signed. But no agreement meaning none allows anyone to waive or give up future claims.
Assuming she settled or waived her past claims, New York now, 2020, has a new Human Rights Executive Law. Thank you Governor Cuomo. She no longer has to prove that she reported the discriminatory remarks, especially if they come from higher level employees. She should keep a notebook. She may be starting from ground zero meaning that prior comments or remarks may be off grounds as evidence.
Have her begin documenting the names, places, exact words, witnesses, and dates of this discrimination. Have her keep a calendar. Make notes. Then when this is all over, meaning coronavirus hopefully, she should call some employment lawyers across the state. Many of us represent clients we will never meet in person. It's a whole new world of telelawyering for us. She will have up to 1 year to possibly sue the employer but it will possibly be with evidence she gathers from the date she signed the last agreement until whenever it becomes intolerable for her to stay.
RULE #1. NEVER QUIT ANY JOB BEFORE YOU SPEAK WITH AN EMPLOYMENT LAWYER. IT'S ALMOST ALWAYS BETTER TO BE FIRED FOR TRYING HARD, OF COURSE NOT FOR INSUBORDINATION. SHE NEEDS TO FOLLOW WHAT SUPERVISORS INSTRUCT HER TO DO AND DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. QUITTING OR CLAIMING THAT IT WAS SO BAD NO ONE WOULD HAVE STAYED IS REALLY TOUGH TO PROVE.
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