You expect to be treated fairly as an employee. It can come as a terrible shock to find yourself as the target of retaliation after reporting a problem to a supervisor, manager or owner.
You are protected against retaliation of this sort by both state and federal employment laws. There are employers who may consider themselves to be above the law and take retaliatory actions either openly or covertly after an employee has filed a complaint, acted as a whistleblower or filed a claim with worker’s compensation. Retaliation for exercising your legally protected rights is against the law. As an employee, you have the law on your side.
At Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our legal team advocates for those who have been the victim of unlawful workplace retaliation. These are difficult matters, and workers facing retaliation have very real concerns and questions about what to do next.
For answers to your questions, contact us today for a free consultation and claim evaluation.
How State and Federal Laws Protect you
Legislators in the state and federal government have recognized that employees can be placed in a difficult position if they have complained about unsafe, illegal or hostile working conditions, or have reported discriminatory actions.
Workers are protected against discrimination related to gender, country of origin, race, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy or religion under the federal Civil Rights Act and state laws. If you have been a victim of any form of discrimination and complained to your employer and subsequently became a victim of retaliation, you can seek justice with the help of a Long Island employment law attorney from Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP.
Employees working in New York also have certain protections under state law. New York Labor Law § 215 states that employers cannot retaliate against you if you have reported a violation. No employer can legally fire, penalize or discriminate against an employee who has made a complaint about violations of labor laws to their employer, or who have already filed a complaint to the Labor Department, provided information to the Labor Department, testified in any proceeding or investigation taking place regarding labor law, or for exercising any of the rights that are protected under labor law.
If an employer has engaged in any retaliatory actions against you, the Department of Labor may order an employer to pay you for your lost compensation as well as damages. Beyond the action taken through the Department of Labor, you may retain the right to file a civil action.
There are two years allowed under the state’s statute of limitations in which to file this type of claim in civil court. In such an action, the court may order the employer to:
- Reinstate the employee to his or her former position.
- Restore seniority.
- Pay any lost compensation.
- Pay damages up to $10,000.
- Pay reasonable attorney fees.
What is Employer Retaliation?
Employer retaliation takes many forms. Some of the common types of retaliation include:
- Wrongful firing (also called wrongful termination or wrongful discharge).
- Reduced work hours.
- Less favorable work hours.
- Reassignment to another location that is less favorable to the employee.
- Pay cuts.
- Failure to increase wages as promised or as is customary.
- Disciplinary actions.
- Intensive or critical forms of supervision.
- Withdrawal of privileges once enjoyed by the employee.
- Assignment to more difficult tasks or duties.
- Ongoing demands for increased production.
- Other types of retaliation.
Employees have the right to file an action against their employer if subjected to unlawful retaliation. Citizenship or immigration status does not prohibit filing a claim to recover lost wages and damages through the Department of Labor.
Speak with the employment lawyers at Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP now for more information about your potential claim. You can also access general information about employment law matters on our informational FAQ page.
Proving unlawful retaliation can be difficult. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP is very experienced in handling these cases successfully. Our priorities are protecting your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to get started.