Long Island Retaliation
Long Island is culturally and ethnically diverse. There are several institutions of higher learning on Long Island. Other major employers include Canon, CA Technologies, Winthrop University Hospital, MSC Industrial Direct, and the Suffolk County Police Department. If you are thinking about complaining about discrimination or harassment due to your race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age, you may be understandably concerned that it will affect your career. Many people do not realize that they are protected not only from discrimination and harassment but also from retaliation on the basis of engaging in a protected activity, such as complaining internally or to the relevant federal or state agency in charge of enforcing anti-discrimination laws. At Phillips & Associates, our Long Island retaliation lawyers can represent you in this type of case, as well as your discrimination or harassment claim.Recognizing Retaliation and Bringing a Claim
Generally, under the at-will employment doctrine, employees can be fired at any time for any reason at all. However, there are exceptions when there are statutory protections in place. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, and the ADEA are federal laws that prohibit retaliation for engaging in protected activities to complain about discrimination or harassment based on protected characteristics. The New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits retaliation after filing an internal complaint, charge, or lawsuit about discrimination or harassment based on a protected activity.
To state a claim for illegal retaliation, you will need to show that you engaged in a protected activity, your employer was aware that you participated in that activity, you suffered an adverse employment action, and there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. The timing of the adverse employment action can help a retaliation attorney on Long Island show a causal connection, but it is not always determinative.
A defendant can defend against a claim of retaliation by showing that you cannot make out a prima facie retaliation case (you cannot prove those elements) or that it had legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons for the adverse employment action.
Employers are not allowed to penalize their employees for making complaints about discrimination or harassment related to protected characteristics, or for participating in workplace investigations about these types of claims. Some employers are unaware of this and fire or demote a worker who files a charge. Moreover, even other types of adverse employment decisions may be considered retaliation. For example, if your employer denies you a raise or a transfer to a better position because you filed a charge with the EEOC after your manager sexually assaulted you at the office holiday party, this could be considered retaliation due to a complaint of sexual harassment. Any adverse employment action may be retaliatory.
Some adverse employment actions are subtle. The court will consider the specific situation to determine whether the adverse employment action was retaliatory. A reassignment to a different work location might not be adverse to a single employee with no particular geographical ties, but it could be retaliatory if an employer knows that your children are in school in the area, and your spouse is employed in a job there. A Long Island retaliation attorney would aim to show that the employer's adverse employment action would deter a reasonable employee faced with the situation from filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
Sometimes the retaliation relates to supporting or intervening after another person was subjected to discrimination or harassed. For example, if you intervene when a coworker and supervisor are harassing a disabled coworker and give information about the situation to the EEOC, and as a result you are terminated from your job, this would be retaliation.
You can file a claim for retaliation under the New York State Human Rights Law as long as your employer is based in the state, even if you are not. The New York State Human Rights Law generally applies to workers who work for employers that have at least four employees, but it applies to all workers in the area of sexual harassment.Consult a Knowledgeable Retaliation Lawyer on Long Island
At Phillips & Associates, we may be able to help you obtain damages if you were subjected to retaliation on Long Island. We offer free consultations. There are no upfront fees and we accept cases on a contingency basis, which means that you will not need to pay attorneys' fees unless we get damages on your behalf. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
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Manhasset, NY 11030