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Retaliation in the Workplace New York’s Preeminent Employment Law Firm

Retaliation in the Workplace

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Employees who complain about workplace discrimination, or who notify authorities about illegal business practices conducted by their employers, are protected from retaliation in the workplace by whistleblower laws. Any action that could be interpreted as a punishment or penalty used against you after you make such a claim or complaint is strictly prohibited by federal legislation.

You also cannot face retaliation for:

  • Participating in an investigation against the employer
  • Filing a lawsuit against the employer

If you have reported a wrongdoing and now face retaliation, you need to act fast to protect yourself and your career. Get the help you need from Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP. Our New York employment law attorneys take each and every whistleblower and workplace retaliation claim with utmost seriousness and do everything in our power to ensure you are treated fairly, including receiving compensation for wrongful terminations, lost career opportunities, or any other inconveniences related to the retaliation.


Start your case today by contacting our team online.


Defining Workplace Retaliation with Legal Statutes

Unfair workplace retaliation is generally clear to see, as business owners who use illegitimate business practices will often outright fire or demote someone who has filed a complaint about them. In some cases, employers are well aware of anti-retaliation laws and choose to act carefully with how they punish employees who voiced their concerns. When such a situation arises, you must be keenly aware of your employer’s actions to determine if they have used unfair retaliation to harm you.

Inappropriate adverse actions could include:

  • Negative work evaluations
  • Salary decreases or demotions
  • Firing or termination
  • Hostile or insulting attitudes

To put retaliation in the workplace into perspective, consider this example: You are consistently praised at work for your productivity and positive perspective. After being sexually harassed by your boss, you report it to human resources. During your next performance review a few weeks later, you are terminated, or even just reprimanded, for “subpar performance.”

How Do You Prove Retaliation in the Workplace?

To prove retaliation in the workplace, you will need to provide evidence that:

  • You were a witness (or victim) of discrimination or harassment in the workplace
  • You were a part of an activity that is protected in the workplace
  • Your employer took unfavorable action against you in the workplace as a result of the first two points
  • As a result, you were adversely affected

Evidence that you could bring include:

  • Documents
  • Copies of offensive messages (or visual images)
  • Names and contact information for witnesses who will be able to corroborate your story
  • The initial report of harassment or discrimination you submitted
  • Emails, memos, and personal notes

Can I Sue My Employer for Cutting Hours?

Having your hours cut does not always justify a lawsuit. However, in some situations, an employee could sue their employer for reduced hours. The employee would need to be able to prove that the employer cut the hours with the intent to deny the employee access to a benefit. Of course, the intent must be proved, and this is not always easy. Do not hesitate to contact our firm if you have any questions regarding your specific situation.

Is Retaliation a Form of Harassment?

Retaliation is not technically harassment, but it still is not permissible. Even when an employee complains about something believing that it is discrimination or harassment, and it turns out it is not, the employer still cannot act against the employee that made the complaint. If the employer does something to punish that employee, such as disciplines or fires, then the employee has a retaliation case.

Attorneys with 110+ Years of Combined Experience

Not only should you speak up when you are being unfairly retaliated against at work, the law actually encourages you to do so. Careful steps will be required if you want to ensure your case is solid and does not leave anything up to chance alone. Schedule your initial consultation with our New York employment lawyers and we can help you determine the best manner in which to proceed for your case.

Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP – Your Employment Rights Are Our Business. Contact Us Today.