Retaliation

Retaliation

Retaliation in the Workplace in New York City and on Long Island

Retaliation for taking action against an employer due to discrimination or for reporting criminal or illegal activity is against the law. It is against the law at all levels—federal, state and locally in New York City. While retaliation encompasses any adverse treatment, common examples include job termination, demotion, pay cuts, job reassignment or even being overlooked for promotion when being previously being highly considered. Retaliatory termination is one of the most common forms of retaliation in the workplace.

If the employer’s action results in a reasonable person being less likely to file a discrimination complaint, then it is often fair to assume retaliation has occurred.

Determining Whether the Employer’s Action Is Retaliation

Protected activity (link to top section on Employment Discrimination page) includes a comprehensive list of areas that are protected in New York. For example, you might suspect retaliation if you apply for an FMLA leave and your employer subsequently lays you off. Or if you ask for an accommodation due to disability and you end up demoted, it may be due to retaliation.

What other circumstances might lead to retaliation?

  • Discussing employment discrimination or harassment with a supervisor or manager
  • Offering information in an employer’s investigation of alleged harassment or discrimination
  • Refusing sexual advances or helping protect someone else against sexual advances
  • Non-compliance with an order because it would cause discrimination
  • Inquiring about salary information that would expose unequal pay practices

What Might Be Other Indications of Retaliation?

Other actions that might indicate retaliation based on an employer’s conduct could include:

  • Job transfer to a less favorable position
  • Being subjected to physical or verbal abuse
  • Making work more difficult (a tougher work schedule that conflicts with family life)
  • Employee reprimands
  • Unreasonably low performance evaluation
  • Increased monitoring or scrutiny
  • Spreading false rumors about the employee
  • Unfair treatment of the employee’s family member (job termination, for example)
  • Threatening to make false reports to authorities

Our Legal Focus

Employment
Discrimination

Civil
Rights

Whistleblower
 

Overtime Pay
Unpaid Wages

Sexual
Harassment

Pregnancy
Discrimination

Retaliation
 

Employment
Agreements

Family Medical
Leave Act

Employer
Defense

Disability
Discrimination

Representative
Cases

Proving that Retaliation Occurred in the Workplace

Because employers are not always straightforward and may try to hide retaliation under the guise of something else, it is not always easy to prove. For example, an employer may argue that your poor job evaluation was based on tardiness or poor job performance. You would have to prove that you were not arriving later to work than you had in the past and that your work performance hadn’t changed.

The timing between the retaliation and the protected activity that prompted it may also be important. If you receive physical or verbal abuse right after making a discrimination claim and your employer had only praised you in the past, this could possibly serve as evidence of retaliation.

The following is a case our firm successfully handled that involved retaliation for an employee who opposed discrimination:

Statute of Limitations for Retaliation

Retaliation claims may be brought under different laws, depending on the circumstances of the retaliation. For example if the employer retaliated based on a wage claim, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may apply. If retaliation occurred for a pregnancy leave, the employee may sue based on the FMLA. Depending on the particular case, the statute of limitations can differ based on the law that applies.

The statute of limitations for retaliation claims is as follows for:

  • FLSA violations, two or three years
  • FMLA violations, two or three years
  • New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law, three years

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Posted by anonymous
November 20, 2019

I had a problem with the company I work for. I was told that I would be shifted from exempt to non-exempt. I did some checking on the web and found out that I was probably due some overtime pay. My company said no way. I thought about it and looked up a labor lawyer and found Peter. 

He sent a letter to my company and they still said no. I then filed a lawsuit and we managed to settle the case. 

I have the highest respect for Mr. Romero.

Ken

Statute of Limitations for Retaliation

Retaliation claims may be brought under different laws, depending on the circumstances of the retaliation. For example if the employer retaliated based on a wage claim, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may apply. If retaliation occurred for a pregnancy leave, the employee may sue based on the FMLA. Depending on the particular case, the statute of limitations can differ based on the law that applies.

The statute of limitations for retaliation claims is as follows for:

  • FLSA violations, two or three years
  • FMLA violations, two or three years
  • New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law, three years

Consult with a Retaliation Lawyer

If you suspect retaliation, discuss your situation with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We can provide you with legal guidance and can help gather facts to build a strong case. Call (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.

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