Worker Retaliation Lawyer New York City

New York City Workplace Retaliation Lawyer

Workplace retaliation can take a heavy toll on employees, affecting their finances, career opportunities, and mental health. But workers in New York City have rights – that includes the right to a workplace free of toxicity, hostility, and retaliatory behavior. If you’re dealing with such issues, consulting a workplace retaliation lawyer in New York City is crucial. The law provides avenues to recover compensation for your losses and the mistreatment you’ve experienced.

What Is Illegal Workplace Retaliation in NYC?

According to statistics by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation plays a factor in nearly half of all complaints received by the agency. Understanding the nuances of workplace retaliation is crucial for every employee – you deserve an equitable and safe work environment where you can exercise your rights without fear of retribution.

Illegal workplace retaliation happens when your employer takes negative action against you because you engaged in a legally protected activity. In other words, it’s illegal for companies to punish their employees for things like reporting discrimination, whistleblowing safety issues, participating in an investigation, taking family leave, or asserting any of their employment rights.

Retaliation may be easy to spot or underhanded and subtle. You may experience retaliatory behavior as one big action or a pattern of small behavioral changes that add up over time. This type of illegal retaliation can manifest in many forms – for example, demotion, salary reduction, job or shift reassignments, inappropriate comments, exclusion from projects, or even termination. You may face increased scrutiny, rumors, or even social isolation.

Click here for more examples of what workplace retaliation can look like.

Fortunately, New York City has robust employment laws that safeguard employees against these types of harmful, retaliatory acts. The NYC Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws in the country, ensuring that workers who stand up for their rights or the rights of others are not punished for their courage.

Can a Hostile Work Environment Be Retaliation?

A toxic or hostile work environment is not something to take lightly. You may be experiencing a hostile work environment if the negative actions of your employer become so severe or pervasive that they fundamentally change the conditions of your employment.

This type of toxic environment can have profound impacts on an employee’s career and health. You may be denied work opportunities, setting you back years in your career goals. You may be targeted by bogus disciplinary actions or inaccurate evaluations that paint a poor picture of your performance, making it hard for you to get a new job. You may even start dreading coming to work and lose your drive, passion, and energy both on and off the clock.

Click here for in-depth examples of what makes a hostile work environment.

Preventing a hostile work environment, especially as a form of retaliation, often depends on the company’s policies and culture. Employers in NYC are legally obligated to establish clear anti-retaliation and anti-harassment policies. They must also take action to ensure that these policies are effectively communicated and enforced. In many companies, management can instill a toxic environment from the top down. In others, one bad apple who never faces consequences for their actions could be a symptom of a bigger problem.

NYC’s employment laws allow workers who were subject to hostile work environments to seek justice and legal redress. That could mean compensating you for wages you lost because of opportunities you were denied or covering your resulting mental health bills. In some cases, courts may even choose to punish employers for especially bad behavior.

To successfully prove retaliation, you must be able to show a direct connection between your participation in a protected activity and your employer’s hostile behavior. Establishing this causal link is critical – this is where an experienced employment lawyer can make a huge difference.

How to Prove Retaliation in the Workplace

Even if you’re certain that you experienced retaliation, your employer isn’t likely to admit it. As a defense, management might provide another justification for their actions to cover up their tracks and avoid responsibility. This is why it’s essential for you to keep records of concrete evidence such as emails, witness testimonies, and workplace changes. Unfortunately, you can’t trust your employer not to restrict your access or even alter files after the fact.

Direct evidence, such as statements from your supervisor admitting the behavior, can be powerful in proving your case but is not necessary for success. If your employer was careful, these types of “gotcha” records might not exist. You can also prove your case with indirect evidence, using various documents and testimony to establish a compelling pattern of behavior that corroborates your version of events.

In many cases of retaliation, timing plays a big factor. Because retaliation happens in response to something, a strong case should be able to show that your employer’s behavior changed before and after you did something to exercise your rights.

For example, you take legally protected leave to take care of your newborn, but as soon as you return you’re sidelined from high-profile projects and other opportunities. Despite no change in your work output, your supervisor demands a higher level of performance and berates you for losing focus after starting your family. In this case, you could use a combination of work output reports, performance reviews before and after your leave, and witness testimony to establish a pattern of changed behavior.

You can experience retaliation from a manager, supervisor, or even a coworker. By law, your employer is also supposed to take steps to address and stop retaliation if it happens. So if you complain about retaliation by a coworker but management fails to remedy or even encourages the behavior, they are essentially complicit and can be held liable.

Every case is unique. The best evidence in your case will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation. An experienced NYC workplace retaliation attorney can help you identify the most important points you need to prove and find the evidence to build your strongest case.

Workplace Retaliation Lawsuit Settlements

Filing a legal claim based on retaliation can get you compensation for your damages and in some cases, court orders to stop the retaliation or reinstate you to your previous position.

The point of a retaliation claim is to hold your employer responsible for their harmful actions and remedy the legal wrong that was done to you. If you’re facing retaliation, the most important thing you can do for your case is to hire a qualified employment lawyer you trust to put forward a strong case and protect your best interests.

Some retaliation cases may go to trial, but many others can be resolved with settlement negotiations. The stronger your evidence, the more likely you are to get a favorable settlement without escalating your case to court. You also want to get started on your case as soon as possible because New York’s statute of limitations for retaliation lawsuits is just two years. Not only that, but you want to start gathering evidence and witness testimony while it’s all still fresh – before your employer has a chance to cover their tracks or witness memories start to fade.

While the thought of going up against your employer may be overwhelming, an experienced lawyer levels the playing field and takes the legal burden of getting justice off your shoulders. At Mirza Law, we can help. Contact us now to get started with your free consultation.

Read Our Recent Blog
View More