Queens, NY Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Employers will always claim that they had a valid reason to lay off or fire an employee. But in many circumstances, this is just disguised discrimination of one form or another. Continued employment and advancement is frequently based on performance reviews. If you have a perfect record, then suddenly go from perfect to pariah, it may be a case of your supervisor or employer giving a negative review in order to have an excuse to remove you from your position or deny a promotion. Call Ricotta & Marks, P.C.’s wrongful termination lawyers in Queens and Long Island, today.
Even in an ‘At Will’ Work Situation, You Have the Right to Work
Sometimes these “Jekyll and Hyde” switches occur because a superior learned something about a subordinate that then caused him or her to have a negative bias, like the employee was of a certain religion or sexual orientation. Sometimes the reason is more obvious, like a bias against people of a certain race, being male or female, a woman becoming pregnant or people with disabilities.
What Constitutes Wrongful Termination?
A claim for wrongful termination exists when an employer fires an employee and that termination constitutes a breach of an employment contract or in violation of public law.
It is also possible to bring wrongful termination charges if you were fired after:
- Your employer breached your employment contract in order to dismiss you. If you have an employment contract that specifies under what conditions your position may be terminated, then your employer also reserves the right to fire you under those conditions. If you believe that your employer breached your employment contract in dismissing you, then you maintain the right to bring forth a wrongful termination claim against them.
- Reporting your employer or supervisor for infractions or illegal behavior (acting as a whistleblower). If you do not have an employment contract and are instead an at-will employee, then you can be fired for any time by your employer without cause. However, there are certain exceptions to this. For example, you cannot be fired by your employer for exercising any of your protected rights, such as a reporting illegal or unsafe behavior in the workplace, filing a discrimination claim or serving as a witness in a workplace investigation, filing a workers’ compensation claim, reporting unsafe work conditions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or other reporting bodies, etc. When you are terminated in response to exercising a protected right, your employer is retaliating against you, which is unlawful.
- Refusing to perform an illegal act (like violating safety regulations). In addition to protection from termination in the event that you are exercising a protected right, you also cannot be fired for refusing to perform any type of unlawful action, ranging from embezzlement and fraud to workplace discrimination and more. If you are being pressured to perform an illegal action, or if you have been terminated for refusing to perform an illegal action, you should call a Queens or Long Island employment law attorney immediately.
- Lawfully taking time off (military service or Family and Medical Leave Act). For some employees, one of the rights that is protected under federal law is the right to take unpaid leave for certain reasons, including to care for a sick family member, to have or care for a new baby, for military service, and more. If you exercise your right to take time off per the Family and Medical Leave Act or any other labor law, your employer cannot lawfully terminate your employment. If they have, you may have a wrongful termination suit.
Remedies for Wrongful Termination
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, you have the right to take action. If an investigation reveals that you were indeed wrongfully terminated, then certain remedies will be available to you. Types of damages that you may be entitled to as a result of your wrongful termination include reinstatement to your original position, back pay for lost wages resulting from the termination, compensation for any lost benefits suffered as a result of the termination, compensation for attorneys’ fees that you have accrued as a result of pursuing your wrongful termination case, and even damages for emotional distress and punitive damages in some cases. Our wrongful termination lawyers in Queens, NY can help you to understand what damages are available to you and how to recover the amount you deserve.
Call Our Queens and Long Island
Wrongful Termination Lawyers Today
Whatever your situation, if you believe that you have been unfairly terminated because of an employer’s bias against you, subject to workplace retaliation or any other reason, Ricotta and Marks, P.C.’s wrongful termination lawyers in Queens want to hear your story. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to your situation and can then see where the discrimination against you occurred. We will help you take action against your employer and vigorously defend your rights.
Along with unfair performance evaluations, employers may take disciplinary actions against employees whom they want to remove from their employment. What may have been accidents or minor infractions are written up and disciplined with bad assignments or demotion. These can accumulate and count toward a negative performance review.
We understand that your work is important to you in terms of supporting yourself and your family, your future and your self-image. We will work with your human resources department to see if we can get your position reinstated, saving your job and helping your company keep a valuable employee. Our knowledge and application of the state and federal laws may be the solution to your problem.
Call our Queens wrongful termination attorneys at 347-464-8694 or contact us to schedule your free initial appointment today.