Workplace Retaliation Attorney in Rochester, NY
Experienced Rochester Employment Lawyer Helping Victims of Workplace Retaliation
State and federal laws make it clear that workplace retaliation is a crime. However, countless employers continue to retaliate against their employees. Workplace retaliation claims made up 48.8 percent of all charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2017, illustrating that this is a serious problem.
You are far from alone if you’ve been retaliated against at work. You are one of many, and just like the ones before you, you need legal help. The Cimino Law Firm has spent more than two decades fighting for employee rights. We understand the complexities of these cases, as well as the emotions involved. You are likely hurt, stressed, and worried about your future. With our help, you can regain your confidence and get back on solid footing.
Know Your Rights – Workplace Retaliation Is a Crime
The state and federal government provide rights to you as an employee. You cannot be retaliated against if you exercise your legal rights. Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for:
- Reporting sexual harassment or discrimination
- Participating in a lawsuit for such a claim
- Reporting illegal activity at your workplace
- Using sick leave or vacation time
Learn more about the laws and regulations that protect employees against retaliation.
What is Anti-discrimination Retaliation?
Laws such as the New York State Human Rights Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect employees in the United States. When an employer discriminates against one of the protected classes, employees can file a complaint. It is illegal for the employer to retaliate against the employee for filing a claim.
What is Wage-and-hour Retaliation?
New York State Labor Law and the Fair Labor Standard Act entitle employees to a basic minimum wage. These laws also state that employees who work more than 40 hours a week must earn overtime pay. Under the law, employees can report infractions without fear of retaliation. Sadly, many employers do retaliate against these brave employees.
What is Whistleblower Retaliation?
New York state and the federal government protect whistleblowers from retaliation as well. When an employer engages in an illegal activity that impedes the safety of the public, employees can report it without fear. Unfortunately, since the employers are already participating in unlawful activities, many will take the extra step and retaliate against their employees. Remember that the law is on your side in these cases.
What is Family Medical Leave Retaliation?
If you work in a company with more than 50 employees, you are entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You need to have at least one year of continuous employment with that company to take the leave. While this is a guaranteed right, far too many employers take action against employees.
How Do Employers Retaliate?
Workplace retaliation takes many forms. Wrongful termination is a common form of workplace retaliation, but it’s far from the only way employers retaliate against employees. Other types of retaliation include:
- Giving a poor performance review
- Demoting the employee
- Failing to promote the best candidate for the job
- Reducing hours
- Reassigning the employee
- Creating a hostile work environment
- Removing privileges
- Assigning less desirable duties or hours
- Suspending the employee
Workplace retaliation can hurt employees financially. Retaliation causes emotional damages as well, such as stress and depression.
What Are Some Examples of Workplace Retaliation?
Workplace retaliation is very complicated. Many people don’t realize they’ve been a victim of retaliation at the time. They think they caught a bad break. To determine if you’ve been a victim of workplace retaliation, look at some examples.
For the first example, assume you have been working overtime and not getting compensated for it. You report the infraction to officials, and your boss finds out. Right after, your boss fires you. That is a clear case of retaliation.
Now, let’s say you see someone sexually harassing another person at work. You report it to human resources, and the person is promptly fired. You feel good about it until your boss demotes you. This doesn’t make sense because you have already received outstanding reviews. This is another case of retaliation.
Another example would be taking time off work to care for a sick spouse. You fill out all the appropriate paperwork and take your legally-allowed leave. You go back to work, and it’s time for annual raises. You are the only person who doesn’t receive a raise even though you are a top employee. It’s clear that your employer retaliated against you.
These are just some examples of workplace retaliation. If you believe you are a victim of retaliation, seek legal help.
How Do You Prove A Workplace Retaliation Case?
There are three components to proving a workplace retaliation case.
First, you must prove that the adverse action occurred immediately after your employer found out that you engaged in a protected activity. An example of protected activity is taking leave with the Family and Medical Leave Act or reporting discrimination.
Second, you need to prove that the adverse action was based on you engaging in a legally-protected activity. Previous performance reviews are an excellent form of proof. If you’ve always had great performance reviews and suddenly you are demoted or fired, it’s clear that the employer is retaliating.
Third, you need to prove that the employer knew about the protected activity. For instance, you must prove that your employer knew that you reported someone for sexual harassment or took time off using the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Employers will try to discredit their employees during the lawsuit. This is to be expected, and a seasoned Rochester workplace retaliation attorney can fight back.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Workplace Retaliation Lawsuits?
The court system is designed to make people whole again after suffering losses. As a victim of workplace retaliation, you have lost so much, and filing suit can make you complete again.
Damages in these cases can include:
- Up to $20,000 in damages
- Payment of lost wages
- Payment for attorney’s fees
- Reinstatement of position and seniority
Contact An Experienced Rochester Workplace Retaliation Attorney
Your legal rights are important. You have the right to report illegal activities without retaliation, but that does not mean your employer will follow the law. If your employer retaliates against you, fight back with our help.
We have over 20 years of experience litigating these cases. We stay abreast of all the changes to the law and will help you fight for your rights. Whether you want to try to settle the case out of court or bring full legal action, we are here for you.
We also make it easy to begin the process. We understand that you are going through enough stress right now, so we offer free phone consultations for our clients. Pick up the phone, call us, and discuss your case. During the meeting, we can help you determine if you should move forward.
We also have two offices for your convenience. After your consultation, you can stop by our Rochester or Webster, NY, locations to start the process.
You might think that your company is too big to sue. You are just one person against a large company. You might be one person, but when you get our help, the law will be on your side. No company is too big to ignore the rule of law.