Queens Wrongful Termination Lawyer
I think I’ve been wrongfully terminated. What do I need to prove in order to bring a wrongful termination claim in Queens?
Unfortunately, New York is an at-will employment state. This means the majority of New York employees are employed “at-will,” and their employer may terminate them for any reason or even no reason at all. The only way to remove yourself from the employment-at-will category is to have an express employment agreement which establishes that your employment is for a fixed duration and also limits your employers’ ability to fire you. If your employer breaches those provisions of your employment contract you may have a valid claim for wrongful termination under New York Law.
Under New York Law there is no cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy for at-will employees. However, you may still have a claim for unlawful termination if your employer terminates you for an unlawful reason in violation of other laws that protect New York Employees. In other words, while a New York employer can fire employees for no reason, it is not allowed to do so for a prohibited reason.
When Is Job Termination Unlawful in Queens?
A claim for unlawful termination arises where the employee is fired under circumstances that violate certain laws that prohibit termination, discrimination or retaliation against workers for certain specific reasons. Some of the most common prohibited reasons for termination are:
- Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, or disability;
- Taking leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act;
- Filing a Workers’ Compensation or Disability Benefits claim or testifying before the Workers’ Compensation Board;
- Taking sick leave or requesting to be paid for paid sick leave under New York City Law;
- Joining, forming, or supporting a union, or acting together with coworkers to try to improve your pay or working conditions;
- Complaining about a Labor Law violation, to the employer, a coworker, the Attorney General, or the Department of Labor; and
- Complaining about workplace sexual harassment.
Each situation is different, and a thorough review of the facts may be required to determine if the circumstances your specific termination meet the above requirements for an unlawful termination under New York Law. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated or have other questions about your employment, please reach out to a Queens wrongful termination lawyer for a free consultation.