Long Island and New York City Wrongful Termination & Retaliation Lawyers
What are your legal rights against being wrongfully fired?
New York is an at-will employment state, which means termination (firing) can occur for any reason or no reason at all, but there are exceptions. Broadly speaking, the exceptions are discrimination, retaliation or a contract that states other terms than at-will termination.
Your boss cannot fire you based on your race, color, national origin or ancestry, sex, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information or citizenship. Under New York law you cannot have your job terminated based on marital status, domestic violence victim status or a criminal or arrest record.
Termination cannot occur based on a request for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act or requesting Paid Medical Leave benefits.
Your employer cannot fire you because you filed a wage and hour claim, discrimination claim or because you testified in a work related investigatory proceeding or if you reported information about illegal or dangerous activity under the Whistleblower’s Act.
Congress passed the Whistleblower Protection Act in 1989, which protected government employees when reporting violations of the law, rules, regulations, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority and dangers to public health and safety. Since 1989, Congress has passed other amendments to the act, which includes OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. The law bars employers from terminating or retaliating against employees who exercise their rights to report under the Whistleblower’s Act.
What is retaliation?
Retaliation is defined for legal purposes as employer punishment of an employee for taking part in a legally protected activity. Legally protected activities include filing for FMLA leave, a discrimination complaint, a wage and hour complaint, a Whistleblower complaint or participating in workplace investigations.
What are some signs of retaliation?
You may find yourself baffled because your employer is reprimanding or disciplining you for conduct that you did not do. Prior to the complaint, your employer had said you were in line for promotion and now you are no longer even being considered. You were working 40 hours a week and for no apparent reason your employer has cut your hours to 30 hours a week. You find this confusing because the company is not reducing work hours for other employees.
What are more examples of retaliation?
Retaliation can be in the form of:
- Job termination
- Salary reduction
- Reassignment to a less desirable position
- Promotion refusal
- Denied benefits
- Unfair negative performance review
- Significant reduction in work hours
- Allowing or creating a hostile work environment due to the complaint
- Any negative response
If you believe you have been illegally fired or that your employer has retaliated against you, you should consult with an employment law attorney as soon as possible. The Van De Water Law Firm, P.C. will work diligently to pursue justice and stand up for your rights.
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