Our New York Employment Lawyers represent those who have suffered retaliation in the workplace from reporting harassment, discrimination, legal violations, or assisted in investigations or as a whistleblower. We represent these individuals who stood up for what is right, so they are not negatively impacted by retaliatory efforts at work.
If you feel that you have suffered adverse employment actions due to reporting harassment, discrimination or other legal violations, our employment attorneys can help. No employee should be fired, demoted or otherwise punished for speaking out against discriminatory practices or harassing behaviors.
What Is an Adverse Employment Action?
Being punished in any way, shape or form in the workplace for reporting illegal or unethical behavior is illegal. New York laws protect employees against suffering adverse employment action as a result of their participation in a workplace investigation or for reporting discriminatory or harassing practices. But what constitutes an adverse employment action?
Retaliation is the legal term for any negative impact an employer takes against an employee for their part in a claim or investigation against that employer. This retaliation could be any form of adverse employment action, like being fired, demoted, or otherwise negatively impacted due to whistleblowing or other claims.
The most obvious form of retaliation is being fired, but there are other, less obvious forms of retaliation that workers may suffer. Being demoted from a management position or other leveled position at work is also considered a negative employment action.
More subtle forms of retaliation include being given worse shifts since your participation in a discrimination claim at work. Perhaps you are no longer offered the overtime hours you used to get, which results in less pay. Or you may have been denied certain benefits or job perks that were previously offered, but are no longer available to you since you played a role in a company investigation. Maybe you were denied a promotion that you should have received due to offering testimony about harassment in the office.
Any of these may be considered retaliation, as long as they can be clearly linked to your involvement in a previous claim or case against your employer.
Laws Prohibit Retaliation in the Workplace
NY Retaliation Law and New York City Retaliation Law make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for any of the following: (1) if you disclose to a public body, or threaten to disclose, a violation of law or public policy; (2) if you testify against the employer or cooperate in any investigation; or (3) if you refuse to participate in activity that is illegal or is a violation of public policy. All of these situations are illegal retaliation in New York.
New York’s whistleblower protection and anti-retaliation laws protect all workers against retaliation after speaking out against illegal activity. These laws were enacted in order to encourage all workers and citizens to be observant and to do the right thing when witnessing illegal, discriminatory, unethical, harassing, or unsafe actions or behaviors in the workplace.
If someone witnesses illegal activity in the workplace and reports it, that employee is protected by anti-retaliation laws. This includes reporting any criminal behaviors including theft of government or public property, illegal dumping or polluting of toxic materials, or other illicit activities.
All workers are guaranteed the right to work in an environment free from racial, religious, ethnic and all other forms of discrimination. If a company discriminates against those of any protected classes in the workplace, they can and should be reported. Those who file claims or offer testimony against an employer about discrimination cannot be retaliated against.
Businesses are expected to meet certain ethical standards and could be held to legal recourse if found repeatedly requiring employees to perform unethical practices for financial gain or to avoid legal action. Insider trading, disclosing privileged information, shredding incriminating documents and other practices should all be discouraged and no employee may be punished in the workplace for their refusal to partake in these activities or for reporting them to authorities.
If an employee is part of a sexual harassment or hostile work environment claim, he or she may not suffer adverse employment action as a result of their involvement in such a report or claim. Employees should feel safe at work and not be afraid of sexual advances, bullying, or intimidation. If they do not enjoy this safety, anti-retaliation laws exist to protect them when they speak out to report such behaviors.
Certain occupations require adherence to strict safety, maintenance and training standards to ensure the well-being of all employees. When companies cut corners by not meeting these standards, they put employees’ health and lives at risk. If a worker files a report about violations to these standards, they may not be retaliated against by their employer in any way.
Contact Our New York Retaliation Attorneys
Our lawyers have experience representing employees who have suffered retaliation by their employer for reporting unsafe, illegal, discriminatory, unethical or harassing workplace practices. If you believe you are the victim of retaliation in the workplace, contact our offices as soon as possible to discuss possible legal recourse.
We offer a free initial consultation of every case and will advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation. Don’t let your employer effect your livelihood because you stood up for what is right. Your right to work is protected by law; we want to help you retain that right.