Daily News
New York Post
Page Six
The Wall Street Journal
Fox News

I Complained of Discrimination and got Fired. What Should I do?

Our society values a workplace free from discrimination. Whether on the basis of race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, or sexual orientation, discrimination at work is illegal in New York City. Further, firing an employee because he or she complained of discrimination is also illegal. The New York employment discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates have a profound understanding of the laws that protect people from discrimination. If you have been illegally fired because you complained of discrimination, contact us to speak with a lawyer.

You Cannot be Fired for Complaining of Discrimination

Discrimination on the basis of certain personal characteristics is illegal. Employers may not make employment decisions — such as whether to hire a potential employee, fire an employee, or give an employee a raise — on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.

The same laws that prohibit discrimination also prohibit retaliation, which is an adverse action taken by the employer against an employee because of the employee’s participation in a protected act. In short, this means that an employer cannot legally fire you because you complained of illegal discrimination — this is a form of retaliation called wrongful termination. In fact, it is illegal for an employer to take any adverse action against you, such as lowering your pay, denying a promotion, or taking any other action that affects the terms of your employment based on your protected activity.

Know Which Laws Protect You

There are several laws that protect you from unlawful discrimination at work. Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, and a number of other personal traits. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical disability. In addition to the rights protected by federal laws, the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws protect you from harassment based on sexual orientation.

All of these laws also prohibit retaliation against employees who have engaged in a protected act. A protected act is any act an employee is allowed to do, such as making a formal complaint of discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). To prevail in court, the employee will also have to prove a causal connection between the protected act and the retaliation. Generally, the New York laws, both state and city, offer better protection because the definition of a retaliatory act in these laws is broader than in the federal laws.

Record All Incidents of Discrimination and Your Termination

Although it is illegal, your employer might have fired you upon learning that filed an (EEOC) complaint. Be sure to document your employer’s actions and the reasons she gave for the retaliatory act, whether firing or something else. This will become important evidence when you and your attorney have to establish the causal connection between your protected right (filing the EEOC complaint) and the adverse action (your termination).

Experienced Advocates for Employees

You do not have to tolerate being fired or treated improperly for asserting your rights. By discriminating against and then firing an employee, employers have broken the law twice. If your employer has retaliated against you on the basis of a protected activity, contact an experienced New York wrongful termination lawyer. Phillips & Associates has significant experience helping New Yorkers with problems at work, so call (212) 248-7431 or contact us online today.

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
AVVO Clients Choice Award 2012
10 Best 2017
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Lawyers of Distiction 2018
Super Lawyers
New York County Lawyers Association