Protections Against Retaliation Under the New York City Human Rights Act

Wrongful Termination Lawyers Assisting New York City Residents

Federal, state, and local laws prohibit certain types of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in New York workplaces. In New York City, the New York City Commission on Human Rights protects workers from employment-based discrimination based on a broader range of protected classes than federal law does. These protected classes include race, color, national origin, age, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital and partnership status, alienage, status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence, status as a victim of stalking, unemployment status, criminal record, caregiver status, and credit history. If you file a complaint with your employer about discrimination or harassment related to any of these protected classes, you are likely protected against retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law, which applies to companies and organizations with four or more employees. The New York City retaliation attorneys at Phillips & Associates can guide you through the legal process if your employer has violated your rights.

Protections Against Retaliation Under the New York City Human Rights Act

Many employees are rightly concerned that if they complain about working conditions, their employers may punish them. However, when a New York City employer takes an adverse action against an employee due to the employee's protected activity, it is considered retaliation, which is prohibited by the New York City Human Rights Law.

To establish employer retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law, you will need to prove that you participated in a protected activity, that the defendant knew about your participation, that the defendant took an employment action against you that adversely affected you in some way, and that there was a causal nexus between the protected activity in which you engaged and the adverse employment action. Protected activities include complaining about discrimination or harassment based on membership in a protected class. Also protected is participation in an investigation or proceeding related to a complaint of discrimination or harassment.

In some cases, it is difficult for workers to prove that they were retaliated against, and the EEOC or a court may disagree with their interpretation of events. However, you are protected against workplace retaliation as long as you have a reasonable, good-faith belief that your employer's conduct was illegal, even if the EEOC or the court would find that you were wrong. It can be difficult to know whether you are being retaliated against. Employers usually try to justify an adverse employment action (such as termination, failure to promote, or reduction in pay) on the basis of an employee's poor performance or some other legitimate reason. However, an experienced employment litigator can help investigate the facts of your case and frame it in the most favorable light for a jury to decide in your favor. Moreover, in interpreting the New York City Human Rights Act, courts have held that any actions that are reasonably likely to deter someone from engaging in a protected activity can constitute retaliation. A court cannot deem specific actions non-retaliatory unless it determines that a jury could not reasonably conclude from the evidence that the conduct was reasonably likely to stop someone from engaging in the protected activity.

Contact a Retaliation Attorney in New York City

The New York City retaliation lawyers at Phillips & Associates offer victims of employment discrimination tenacious and experienced legal representation. We can represent you in your discrimination or harassment claim, and we can provide advice about protections against retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Act. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a wrongful termination attorney. We help victims of discrimination throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.

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