Brittany Alexandra Stevens is an associate attorney at Phillips & Associates who is focused on protecting the rights of New York City employees from sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination.
Nobody should be discriminated against in a workplace context. Protection may be available under federal, state, and local laws. Ms. Stevens serves people who have been wrongfully discriminated against based on protected characteristics, including race, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and religion. One of several federal statutes that guards against employment discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Under Title VII, it is unlawful for an employer to take any adverse hiring or employment action against an individual based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Employment actions can include terminations, compensation decisions, unfavorable assignments, or any other material aspect of employment. Title VII also prohibits harassment. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for complaining to HR or your supervisor about discrimination or harassment based on protected characteristics.
Illegal discrimination and harassment may be obvious and easy to spot, but they can also be subtle and indirect. An otherwise neutral employment policy or practice that applies to everyone may still be found illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a specific race, color, or religion.
Once an employee shows that there is a disparate impact, the employer may defend itself by challenging the employee's evidence or by proving that the policy is reasonably necessary for the business and is job-related. However, if the employer presents a defense based on job necessity, the employee could still prevail by showing that the employer refused to adopt a less discriminatory policy that could satisfy the same business need.
If you are a victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you should be aware that there are strict time limits to enforce your rights. With a Title VII claim, for example, you will have to file a charge with the EEOC before bringing a lawsuit. The time limits will usually apply to each event that is considered discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory. Therefore, you should seek counsel immediately after the first incident that you believe violates your rights.
Ms. Stevens graduated cum laude from Skidmore College with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Management and Business. After college, she graduated from the University Of San Francisco School Of Law. At law school, she served as Vice-President of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Jewish Law Students Association, Co-Chair of the Educational Programs Committee for the Student Bar, and Executive Articles Editor of the Intellectual Property Law Journal. She was a student representative for the USF employment clinic, and among other things, focused on wage and hour disputes, EEOC proceedings, and Merit Systems Protection Board hearings. She also gained valuable insights about the judicial process as a summer judicial intern for the Honorable Arthur F. Engoron on the New York County Supreme Court.
After law school, Ms. Stevens worked as a law clerk for two different plaintiffs’ litigation practices. She conducted client intake legal research, drafted motions, and performed records review.
Ms. Stevens is a member of NELA New York and the New York State Bar Association.