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NYC Employment Lawyer > Blog > Employment Discrimination > Have I Been Retaliated Against?

Have I Been Retaliated Against?


As an employee, you have the right to file certain claims if you believe they are warranted – for example, discrimination complaints or ‘blowing the whistle’ on unethical behavior. However, some employers will not react well to your choosing to do so, and may engage in what is known as retaliation, to ‘punish’ you for your choices. If you suspect you have been retaliated against by your employer, New York law allows you to seek compensation for it – but sometimes, it can be difficult to tell when an act is retaliatory and when it simply has occurred in the course of business.

Experiencing An ‘Adverse Employment Action’

In order to establish retaliation, you must be able to show that you have experienced what is known as an adverse employment action, and that it occurred as a direct response to your reporting illegal or unethical behavior. An adverse employment action is any kind of move that results in a negative impact on the employee – termination is the most common, but there are more subtle examples, such as changing an employee’s shift or transferring them to a branch in an inconvenient location.

Sometimes adverse employment actions simply happen, of course – but if you can make a clear case that an adverse employment action is linked to your reporting or testimony, both New York and federal laws protect employees against such treatment. All workers, regardless of citizenship or other immigration status, have the right to report inappropriate behavior, and to file complaints with the state or city Labor Department (or federal authorities) if you are retaliated against for doing so.

Not Only For Blowing The Whistle

Be advised that retaliation can happen not only for blowing the whistle, so to speak, but it may also happen as a result of simply exercising your rights, whether work-related or not. For example, if you are injured at work and file for workers’ compensation benefits, some employers may retaliate because they will now face increased insurance premiums. You have the unfettered right to seek those benefits if your employer carries workers’ compensation coverage – to punish you for doing so is both unethical and illegal.

If you believe you have grounds to file a complaint about your treatment, you can do so with either the New York Department of Labor, or with federal authorities at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you believe that you may have better luck. In general, if you can establish that you experienced an adverse employment action as a direct result of any protected activity such as whistleblowing or filing a human rights complaint, you may be able to receive back wages, and if applicable, the reinstatement of your former job or position.

Call A New York Employment Discrimination Attorney

If you believe that you have experienced retaliation from your employer after expressing your rights, you have options to use in trying to recover what has been taken from you. Calling a New York City employment discrimination attorney from Mansell Law, LLC can help you understand your options and decide how best to move on from here. Contact our office today via our web form, or on the phone at 646-921-8900, for a free consultation.



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