What is Worker Retaliation in New York?

worker retaliation new york

It should go without saying that retaliation in the workplace is unlawful in the Empire State. If you believe a current or former employer has retaliated against you, please read on, then contact an experienced New York City worker retaliation lawyer. Some questions you may have include:

What constitutes a valid retaliation claim in New York?

Retaliation in an employment setting occurs when an employer, or someone acting on his or her behalf, takes action to harm an employee in response to the employee’s action. If you, the employee, filed a complaint about your supervisor’s discrimination based on sex, gender, age, race or nationality, and your employer fired or demoted you in response, then you can file a lawsuit based on retaliation. At that point, you will need to prove that your termination or demotion relates to the discrimination complaint and does not reflect your employer’s best business judgment.

What rights do employees have in New York?

Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York Workers’ Bill of Rights, employees have the legal right to engage in the following behaviors:

  • Reporting wage and hour discrepancies, incidents of harassment or discrimination, or safety violations
  • Cooperating with a legal investigation into a business
  • Participating in unionization efforts
  • Requesting certain reasonable accommodations in the workplace because of their religion or disability
  • Using FMLA to take time off work
  • Refusing to take part in illicit conduct

If your employer retaliates against you for taking any of those actions, you can file a retaliation claim.

How do you prove your New York employer retaliated against you?

First of all, you should strongly consider retaining the services of a skilled New York employment lawyer. Together, you and your lawyer will need to document, collect and present as much evidence as possible. Under certain circumstances, a judge or jury may consider an action retaliatory if it seeks to punish an employee for complaining about labor law violations, providing information to the Department of Labor or participating in proceedings at the Department of Labor. Retaliation can take many forms, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Dismissal from employment
  • Cut in work hours
  • Reschedule for less desired hours
  • Cut in pay
  • Disciplinary action
  • More intensive or critical supervision
  • Demotion or transfer
  • Withdrawal of previously allowed privileges
  • Assignment to more difficult duties
  • Demanding increased production
  • Threats to take such actions, and/or
  • Threats to subject the employee to a  lawsuit, criminal authorities or deportation authorities

Our firm is here to help you, so please give us a call today.


If you are facing employment law or personal injury law issues of any kind, contact Mirza Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our seasoned legal team.