Retaliation Lawyers in New York City
When you report wrongdoing by your employer, you hope that resolves the issue and that will be the end of it. Unfortunately, many people find themselves experiencing retaliation by their employers for reporting such wrongdoings instead.
If this has or is happening to you, the New York City lawyers of Brown Kwon & Lam are here for you. Schedule a consultation at (646) 783-0074 for advice and guidance tailored to your unique situation.
What Is Retaliation?
Workplace retaliation occurs when your employer treats you unfairly because of your involvement in a lawful act.
Under federal, state, and New York City laws, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for:
- Reporting, filing, or participating in a discrimination or sexual harassment claim
- Reporting wrongdoing by an employer
Further, common forms of retaliation include:
- Denying employment, firing, or facing a layoff
- Losing pay or benefits
- Changes to job assignments, training, or earned promotions
While these are obvious forms of retaliation, sometimes it isn’t so clear, Subtle forms of retaliation include:
- Losing your position shortly after reporting wage and hour violations
- After participating in an investigation, you notice that you are being assigned fewer hours, your employer changes and/or reduces your job responsibilities, and you never receive promotions after some time
- After filing harassment claims against a coworker, you begin to receive poor performance reviews
- You are treated unfairly after utilizing the Family Medical Leave Act for time off to care for a sick loved one
- You participate in a discrimination investigation and suddenly receive unfavorable shifts without explanation or adequate notice
Penalties for Employers
While you are likely devastated by the behavior of your employer, know that the New York Department of Labor takes action against them in addition to the legal charges you may press.
If an employer has violated retaliation law, the Department of Labor can issue the following:
- A penalty from $1,000 to $20,000
- Order payment of lost compensation to the employee
- Order payment of liquidated damages
In addition, the employee can bring about civil action in court. However, it is important to know that there is some room for employers to make change without the Department of Labor’s involvement. This includes making the necessary changes to remedy the situation, providing you the pay that is rightfully yours, changing schedules, etc. But if your employer makes no effort to rectify the situation, you need legal counsel.
Your involvement in protected activity should not prompt retaliation by your employer. But unfortunately, this does happen. In 2020 alone, there were 37,632 retaliation cases reported in the United States.