Workplace Retaliation Defined
There are several federal and state laws that protect individuals from discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Title VII applies to both private and government employers, including federal and local governments. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits private and government employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in the workplace both as an applicant and as an employee. The Equal Pay Act (EPA), which is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), forbids sex-based wage discrimination for the same work. These laws apply to companies with 15 or more employees.
Retaliation is the most commonly alleged form of discrimination, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you or someone you know believes he or she has been the victim of workplace retaliation, contact an experienced employment discrimination attorney to learn about your rights under federal and state law.
An employer is prohibited from firing, demoting, harassing or retaliating in another form when an employee files a discrimination charge, participates in a proceeding, or otherwise opposes workplace discrimination. The same laws prohibiting discrimination also forbid retaliation.
Retaliation occurs when an employment agency, labor organization or employer (1) takes an adverse action against (2) a covered individual for engaging in a (3) protected action.
An adverse action includes, but is not limited to: refusal to hire, denial of a promotion, or termination; negative evaluations or references that are unwarranted, or heightened surveillance; and unfounded civil or criminal charges, or even assault, that would intimidate a reasonable person from pursuing his or her rights. A covered individual includes someone who has filed a discrimination charge, participated in a proceeding relating to discriminatory behavior, or someone who has a close association with someone who has engaged in such activity. Protected activity includes action taken in opposition to discriminatory behavior or practice that is believed to be discriminatory. There must be a good faith belief that the activity is discriminatory and the manner of the opposition must be reasonable. Some examples of protected activity include picketing in opposition of discrimination, threatening to file a discrimination charge, complaining about discriminatory behavior towards oneself or another, and refusal to obey an order that is believed to be discriminatory if followed.
New York Employment Discrimination
Workplace discrimination can happen to anyone and, consequently, so can employer retaliation. Establishing whether or not discriminatory behavior has occurred in the workplace can be complicated because a victim is required to provide both objective and subject proof that the illegal behavior has taken place. If an employer intimidates, threatens or otherwise harasses a victim or someone opposing discriminatory practices it has broken the law. The qualified New York employment discrimination lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. have years of experience representing clients from the greater New York area in all matters relating to employment law. Do not let an employer scare you out of pursuing your rights. Click here to schedule your initial case evaluation.