Westchester County Retaliation

Westchester County Retaliation

Workplace Rights Lawyers Advocating for Employees in Westchester County

White Plains is the county seat of Westchester County. The county is home to many Fortune 500 companies, including MasterCard, IBM, Jarden, Regeneron, and PepsiCo. It is understandable to be concerned that your employer will try to punish you if you complain about discrimination or harassment on the job. Often, employers do punish workers for speaking out against discrimination or harassment, instead of correcting the behavior of the perpetrators. If your employer engages in retaliation rather than correcting the perpetrators' conduct, you may be able to recover damages. At Phillips & Associates, our Westchester County retaliation lawyers may be able to represent you in a lawsuit if you have been a victim of retaliation.

Understanding Situations Involving Retaliation

An employer retaliates against a worker when it takes an adverse employment action against them for complaining about discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics under federal laws (such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)) include race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, and age over 40.

Under the New York State Human Rights Law, meanwhile, it is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you due to your creed, age, color, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal or arrest record, predisposing genetic characteristics, or disabilities.

In order for a retaliation attorney in Westchester County to recover damages, the action that is considered retaliatory needs to be substantially adverse and likely to convince a worker not to support or bring a discrimination charge. A retaliatory action could include termination, demotion, harassment, reassignment to a less favorable position, and other actions that are punitive enough that a reasonable person would be less likely to complain about discrimination because of them.

Sometimes a court will dismiss a discrimination claim. Does that mean that your retaliation claim will also fail? No. To prove retaliation, your Westchester County retaliation attorney will need to show that you were involved in a protected activity, and because of your involvement, your employer made an adverse employment decision. In other words, we will need to show that but for your engagement in a protected activity, the adverse action would not have occurred. Sometimes, a court determines that there was no discrimination or harassment under the nuances of case law or the statute that is being applied, but there can still be retaliation as long as you complained about the discrimination or harassment in good faith.

Suppose, for example, if you are black, and a coworker sends you a series of memes depicting monkeys and repeatedly tells you that you would not have gotten your job except for affirmative action. Maybe you would file a grievance with HR, but HR then might decide to shift you into a less favorable assignment with less pay. Your manager might write you a negative performance review saying that you are not a team player because you complain about your coworkers, after you have previously gotten good performance reviews. Eventually, you are terminated. Even if the court determines that what you initially experienced was not racial harassment, you may still be able to recover damages for your employer's retaliatory actions as long as you reasonably believed that the initial actions were harassment.

Employers have gotten savvier about anti-discrimination laws and may claim that there was some other reason for taking an adverse action against you. Sometimes the temporal closeness of your complaint to the retaliatory action can help establish the causal relationship. An experienced employment litigator can help investigate your case, determine whether federal or state law is more favorable, and present your claims to a jury.

Discuss Your Case with a Retaliation Lawyer in the Westchester County Area

At Phillips & Associates, our experienced attorneys help clients who have faced retaliation on the job in Westchester County. If you believe that you have been a victim of retaliation, you can contact us at (866) 229-9441 or through our online form to set up a free case evaluation. We represent people in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, and White Plains.

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