You might feel reluctant to file a claim against your employer or someone in your workplace. Employees often are reluctant to pursue a discrimination lawsuit because they depend on their job to keep their home, care for their family, and meet other basic needs. While it is understandable to fear losing your job, your employer is not permitted to fire you as revenge for your suing them or reporting them for discriminatory conduct. If your employer does take revenge against you in this situation, you should consult New York retaliation attorney James J. Corbett for guidance on how to proceed. Mr. Corbett can help you protect your right to be free from retaliation for taking action against employment discrimination.
New York and Federal Laws Prohibit Retaliation in the Workplace
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to encourage workers to file complaints about discrimination that affects their places of employment. Therefore, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that employees who file claims with the EEOC may not be subjected to retaliation by employers. There are three main components that a worker needs to show in a retaliation case:
- The worker engaged in protected activity to help curb discrimination
- The employer took an adverse action against the employee
- The protected activity caused the adverse action
Adverse actions can extend beyond simply terminating employment. An employee can file a retaliation claim based on a demotion, a refusal to promote, or even the denial of certain employment benefits. For example, the employer might have passed over the employee who filed an EEOC complaint when other workers in his or her job received pay raises. Any sort of different treatment that disadvantaged the worker involved in the protected activity may be sufficient to establish an adverse action.
The most complex section of this process consists of showing causation. There are many potential reasons other than retaliation for an employer to take an adverse action toward an employee. Employers usually try to argue that they took these actions because of legitimate business reasons related to job performance. To prove otherwise, a worker should look for any documents or other direct evidence suggesting that retaliation caused the adverse action, as well as circumstantial evidence showing that other similarly situated employees were treated better.
If you cannot show a specific adverse action, you still may be able to pursue a retaliation claim under New York City’s Human Rights Act. Sometimes employment retaliation can emerge in forms that are more subtle than simply firing or demoting somebody, or even denying them a pay raise. The Human Rights Act holds employers accountable for retaliation in any manner, whether or not it consists of any specific action or leads to an adverse change in conditions of employment. A claim that may not succeed under the federal Civil Rights Act thus may have a stronger chance of success under this city law.
Explore Your Retaliation Case with a Seasoned New York Attorney
Since retaliation cases can become complex, it is essential to share the details of your situation with an experienced professional who can help you develop strategies for pursuing a claim. Long Island employment discrimination lawyer James J. Corbett knows what twists and turns these claims can take. He will listen carefully to the details of your situation, treating you with the individual attention that you deserve. Mr. Corbett has served employees throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Seek his counsel by calling us at (516) 679-9494 or completing an online form to schedule a free initial consultation.