The potential client is an African American woman who works for a State Agency in Albany. She ins the only minority ever appointed to her position. She applied for a promotion and was told she was the most qualified, but she was denied it. Her supervisor seems to have it out for her, and spends time going through closed files to find reasons to criticize the potential client's work. The potential client reported her supervisor for unethical conduct, and the supervisor is retaliating by increasing the potential client's workload.
There is a lot of stuff going on here, and it's hard to get a good handle on cases like this from phone interviews. Cases against State Agencies have their own particular considerations. State law in general is very ineffective against State Agencies for discrimination claims, and they almost always should be brought in federal court. Not all of the federal antidiscrimination laws apply to State Agencies, although Title VII, which prohibits race, gender, pregnancy and religious discrimination, does. This requires filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, which generally must be done in New York within 300 days of the occurrence of discrimination. Section 1981 and 1983 claims can be brought against individual employees of the State Agencies. These claims have their own peculiarities. Punitive damages are not available against the State. Claims against State Agencies are handled by the State Attorney General's office.
Although I have handled cases in federal court in Albany, I am cautious about doing so because there is significant travel time involved, which can turn a routine conference into an all day proposition.