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Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP Retaliation in The Workplace

NYC Workplace Retaliation Lawyer

Protecting Your Rights Against Employer Retaliation

At Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP, we understand that standing up for your rights as an employee can be a challenging and intimidating process. Unfortunately, employers sometimes resort to retaliation when employees assert their legal rights. Retaliation can take various forms, including termination, demotion, unfavorable work assignments, reduction in pay, or other adverse actions that negatively affect an employee's terms and conditions of employment.

We have a proven track record of successfully representing employees in New York City, NY, and ensuring that their rights are protected.

What is Employer Retaliation?

Employer retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse actions against an employee in response to their exercise of legally protected rights. These rights include:

  • Filing a complaint about workplace discrimination or harassment
  • Requesting reasonable accommodations for disabilities
  • Reporting illegal activities or violations of labor laws
  • Participating in a workplace investigation

Is Workplace Retaliation Illegal in NYC?

It's important to note that retaliation is unlawful and goes against federal and state employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Yes, workplace retaliation is generally illegal in New York City. NYC has strong anti-retaliation laws in place to protect employees from adverse actions taken by employers in response to certain protected activities. These laws are enforced by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR).

Under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who engage in protected activities, such as:

  • Filing a complaint or participating in an investigation regarding discrimination, harassment, or other violations of the NYCHRL.
  • Requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability or religious practice.
  • Exercising their rights under applicable labor laws, such as those related to wages, hours, or collective bargaining.
  • Reporting violations of applicable laws or regulations to government authorities.
  • Opposing or disclosing discriminatory practices in the workplace.

If an employee believes they have been subjected to workplace retaliation, they can file a complaint with the NYCCHR. The NYCCHR has the authority to investigate complaints, issue findings, and award remedies such as back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, and civil penalties.

What Are Some Examples of Retaliation in the Workplace?

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

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 City workplace retaliation 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.

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.”

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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

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 City workplace retaliation lawyers and we can help you determine the best manner in which to proceed for your case.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Workplace Retaliation in NY?

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a claim related to workplace retaliation depends on the specific law under which the claim is brought.

The statute of limitations for common types of workplace retaliation claims in New York includes:

  • Retaliation under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL): Under the NYSHRL, which covers employers outside of New York City, an individual generally has three years from the date of the alleged retaliatory action to file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) or pursue a lawsuit in court.

  • Retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL): For workplace retaliation claims within New York City, the statute of limitations is generally shorter. An individual has one year from the date of the alleged retaliatory action to file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR).

  • Retaliation under federal laws: If the retaliation claim is based on federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the individual has 180 days or 300 days (depending on the circumstances) from the date of the alleged retaliatory action to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After receiving a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC, the individual generally has 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal court.

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