Employment Lawyers Help Victims of Workplace Retaliation
Employment Lawyers File Claims for Workers Facing Retaliation
Attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., a full-service employment law firm representing clients in the New York City metropolitan region, understand the complex nature of the various claims that can stem from the employer-employee relationship. Just thinking about the number of laws that exist to govern that relationship can cause one’s head to spin.
Minimum hourly wages, overtime pay, tips, exemptions, sexual harassment, and discrimination are just a few workplace issues that give rise to thousands of claims and lawsuits every year. The Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York State Labor Law, New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law contain some of the rules and regulations that affect the workplace. Agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) and the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR), along with federal and state courts, handle some of the most acrimonious disputes between employers and employees. Before turning to agencies or the courts, some employees, with the help of experienced employment attorneys, may find resolution through less formal negotiations.
Every case differs but there is often one similarity that we find in nearly every matter. Employees who have disputes with their employers often fear retaliation. Employees are afraid there will be negative repercussions if they ask questions, make a demand, file a complaint or otherwise assert their rights. What many employees don’t realize is that many of the same laws that protect them from unfair wage and employment practices, also protect them from retaliation.
Leeds Brown has spent decades assisting clients to assert their rights to secure proper wages and to work in a hospitable environment. We know that retaliation is a real concern for workers. Our employment attorneys have the experience, skill and dedication needed to hold employers accountable when they punish employees for asserting their legal rights. Employers who retaliate are often forced to pay significant monetary damages to their victims. Let us evaluate your case for free by calling New York retaliation attorneys at 1-800-585-4658.
Frequently Asked Questions About Retaliation
What are some laws that prohibit retaliation against employees?
Some pieces of legislation that prohibit retaliation are:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Equal Pay Act
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
- False Claims Act (FCA)
What are whistleblower laws?
These laws protect employees, sometimes called whistleblowers, who report illegal activity that is not discrimination.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the False Claims Act are examples of two laws that prohibit retaliation against whistleblowers.
What are some of the rights protected from retaliation?
Protected activities can include:
- Filing a complaint with human resources about sex harassment
- Filing an unpaid wage claim
- Filing an age discrimination claim
- Cooperating with an EEOC investigation
- Asking your employer for overtime you earned
- Reporting fraud against the government
- Reporting securities fraud
- Demanding that your supervisor cease all unwelcome sexual advances
Is firing the only form of retaliation that is actionable?
No. Retaliation occurs in many different ways, any of which can support a claim. Retaliatory adverse employment actions may include:
- Reducing pay
- Cutting hours
- Withholding tips
- Reassigning work
- Receiving unsupported negative performance reviews
What do you have to do to prove retaliation?
To prove unlawful retaliation, you may have to show that you were the victim of an adverse employment action and that it was the result of your exercise of a protected activity. You may need to documentation or corroboration that your employer was aware of your activity.
Your employer will likely try to prove that the adverse action was the result of a decision made for reasons unrelated to your protected activity. Consider the following scenario:
You have worked for ABC company for ten years. You have received positive reviews, and standard raises every year. You file a complaint with HR because your new supervisor is sexually harassing you. Your new supervisor gives you a terrible performance review, no raise, and eliminates some of your responsibilities because of your alleged inability to do your job effectively.
You may certainly have a retaliation claim in addition to a sexual harassment claim. Consideration will include the timing of the adverse action, your employment history, performance history, and the treatment of other employees in similar situations.
What should I do if I am experiencing retaliation?
It may be helpful to speak with the employment law or wage and hour attorney at Leeds Brown. You want to be sure you preserve your right to file a claim in the future, and by reaching out to experienced lawyers, you can do that. Your employer may have rules or policies in place that affect this right. For instance, you may be required to file a formal letter or fill out a form with a particular person in the company to ensure that they have actual notice of the complaint. Notice is usually necessary when asserting a retaliation claim.
You should also be sure to keep any records you can of the treatment you are receiving. Write things down such as the dates, participants and the substance of conversations, descriptions of retaliatory behavior and even things that may help you refute your employer’s defenses later on. For instance, if you receive compliments on a project, take note. The information may come in handy if your boss gives you a bad review. The more information you can gather in your favor, the stronger your case may be.
Retaliation claims are sometimes stronger and result in greater awards than substantive discrimination claims. At Leeds Brown, our attorneys work collaboratively to determine a course of action that provides the greatest chance of success and reaches our clients’ goals. Our hands-on personal approach to cases sets us apart from the rest and the love we have for our work shows in every matter we handle.
When your job is at stake because you are trying to protect your legal rights, contact Leeds Brown, New York employment and retaliation attorneys. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. Time may be of the essence so don’t wait. Call today for a free consultation.