It can be difficult to stand up for your rights against your employer. When your employer retaliates against you, you may have a legal claim for retaliation. The New York employment retaliation attorneys at Phillips & Associates can advise you of your rights and defend your interests in court.

You depend on your employer for your livelihood, so that you can feed yourself and your family, put a roof over you head, and so you can make a meaningful contribution to society through your work. In exchange you give your employer your commitment, and many of your waking hours. Some employers try to use the fact that you count on them for leverage, betting that you will not complain of legal violations, and retaliating when you do file a complaint.


Federal and state employment laws recognize that employers are in a position of power and can retaliate against those employees who complain. The law also recognizes the importance of eliminating racial, gender, age, pregnancy and other kinds of discrimination in the workplace, as well as eliminating hostile work environments and other improper employer practices. For these reasons, the law protects employees who seek to exercise their rights from retaliation by their employers.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 creates certain employee rights, including the right to be free from discrimination and harassment based upon race, color, gender, national origin, pregnancy, or religious beliefs. To seek the protections of the Act, individuals must file claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or in court. The Act protects the rights of individuals to file claims by protecting employees from employer retaliation.

Retaliation under the Civil Rights Act is shown by an employee engaging in a protected activity – opposing discrimination in the workplace – followed by an adverse action taken by the employer, and a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action. Adverse actions can include firing, demotion, refusing to promote, denying pay raises and other benefits, and so forth. The legal standard is quite simple, but proving that the employer took an adverse action in response to a protected activity – as opposed to for some other business reason – can be difficult. Documents showing that retaliation was the employer’s motive are strong evidence, and circumstantial evidence that others were not treated in the same fashion can also help demonstrate retaliation.

New York City Has Strict Anti-Retaliation Laws New York City’s Human Rights Act provides even stronger anti-retaliation provisions. Recognizing that sometimes employers retaliate in subtle ways that may not result in an adverse action, the Human Rights Act prohibits retaliation in any manner. This is meant to be broader than the definition of retaliation in the Civil Rights Act, and there need not be an ultimate action or material change in the terms of employment.


An experienced New York retaliation attorney can explain all of the applicable laws and options. Whistleblowers are afforded few legal protections in the workplace, but where discrimination or harassment is involved, employees are given strong protections. However, retaliation is usually much more complex than simply firing an employee right after she files a discrimination complaint, and proving a retaliation claim can be difficult. If you believe you have been subjected or will be the subject of retaliation by your employer, contact Phillips & Associates today at (212) 248-7431. Your consultation is free and confidential, and we do not get paid unless you succeed in your claims.

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New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107
New Jersey Employment Lawyer Blog - Retaliation
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