When you report wrongdoing by your employer, you hope that the issue will be resolved and that will be the end of it. Unfortunately for many New York employees, they find themselves being retaliated against by their employers for reporting such wrongdoings.
If this has happened to you, the New York employment lawyers of Brown Kwon & Lam are here for you.
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
Common forms of retaliation include:
- Being denied employment, being fired, 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:
- Being fired shortly after reporting wage and hour violations that were seemingly corrected
- After participating in an investigation, you begin to notice that you are assigned fewer hours, job responsibilities are changed and soon reduced, and you are not given 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 are suddenly given 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 you only have two years to start legal action. If you win your civil case, you may be:
- Resume your seniority at the company
- Receive payment of lost compensation
- Granted damages up to $20,000
- Granted payment for attorney fees
As an employee who is facing retaliation in the workplace, know that there is some room for employers to make changes without the Department of Labor’s involvement. This includes making the necessary changes to remedy the situation, providing you the pay that is rightfully owed, changing schedules, etc.
But if your employer makes no effort to rectify the situation, you need legal counsel.
Contact The New York City Retaliation Attorneys Today
Your involvement in a protected activity should not prompt retaliation by your employer. But unfortunately, this does happen. In 2018 alone, there were 39,469 retaliation cases reported in the United States.
If you believe that you were a victim of retaliation, call Brown Kwon & Lam, LLP today.