Long Island and Queens Workplace Retaliation Lawyers
Speaking out against your employer can be stressful and intimidating, especially if you were the victim of discrimination or harassment.
It is unlawful for employers to penalize employees who are engaging in legal activities, whether that includes participating in workplace investigations or filing a complaint due to discrimination. It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a lawsuit with our workplace retaliation lawyers in Queens and Long Island.
Workplace retaliation takes many forms—from supervisors making nasty comments to cutting an employee’s hours to giving the employee an unjustified bad evaluation. These are just a few common forms of retaliation that a worker may be forced to endure. Workplace retaliation is unlawful. If you have made a complaint to your employer about an issue such as harassment or discrimination and are experiencing retaliation, you need professional legal representation.
At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., our Queens workplace retaliation lawyers are skilled, aggressive advocates for our clients. Protecting workers rights is all that we do. If you or your loved one was the victim of retaliation, our legal team is here to help. To set up a strictly confidential case evaluation with an experienced New York employment retaliation lawyer, please call our Queens law office today.
Workplace Retaliation: What You Need to Know
Employees have the right to raise complaints, report misconduct, or otherwise exercise their right in the workplace to complain about discriminatory treatment without the fear of facing punishment from their supervisor or employer. Employers are forbidden from retaliation. As defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity.
Consider a boss who constantly changes the work schedule of an employee who filed a report with the EEOC in order to decrease the employee’s work hours. That boss, in changing the employee’s work schedule, can likely be held responsible for retaliation. The employee acted well within their legal rights, yet the boss punished them with decreased work hours. That behavior is considered workplace retaliation. Such retaliation can take many forms including:
- Decreased wages
- Loss of benefits
- Negative performance reviews
- Workplace harassment
In other words, employers cannot take adverse employment action against an employee—a bad performance review, workplace harassment, demotion, loss of pay, loss of benefits, loss of opportunities, termination, etc.―simply because that person engaged in a protected activity. If you filed a complaint of discrimination or harassment or reported misconduct and your employer punished you for you doing so, your rights have been violated. If you are unsure whether or not you have experienced illegal retaliation, the team of workplace retaliation attorneys at R&M can help.
Retaliation May Be Concealed With Pretextual Reasoning
Although it does still occur in some cases, most employers do not openly admit to “retaliating” against employees. Instead, a New York employer may attempt to cover up their illegal reason for punishing a worker with a pretextual (dubious) reason.
Put another way, an employer may falsely claim to be taking adverse action against an employee for a legal, justified reason instead of in retaliation. This can make these claims more complicated. To ensure that your rights are protected, it is crucial that all suspected retaliation is comprehensively investigated by an experienced workplace retaliation lawyer in Queens. The sooner your lawyer investigates your case, the more likely you will be able to get access to the evidence you need to prove retaliation.
We Handle the Full Range of Retaliation Claims in New York
Retaliation comes in a wide range of different forms. One of the most important things to know is that companies and organizations cannot punish you for exercising any of your labor/employment rights under either state law or federal law. At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., our top-rated Queens and Long Island employment lawyers handle the full range of workplace retaliation claims. State and federal laws protect your right to make a complaint to your employer regarding issues such as:
Employment discrimination and harassment are separate claims apart from retaliation, but employment discrimination can be a major part of the retaliatory behavior. If you were the victim of discrimination based on any of the following factors, or others not listed, workplace retaliation attorneys at R&M can help:
- Race, Nationality or Ethnicity
- Gender or Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- Disability / Accommodations
Learn more about your rights in the face of employment discrimination by visiting with one of our experienced attorneys today.
Workplace retaliation can manifest in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any unwanted contact or advances on the basis of sex. This can include physical advances like groping or sexual gestures, but it can also involve verbal harassment like offensive jokes or requesting sexual favors.
As a form of retaliation, sexual harassment can be weaponized against the employee. The New York Division of Human Rights protects employees from this behavior, specifically stating:
- The employer is held responsible when its agents or supervisors had reason to believe the sexual harassment was occurring yet failed to report the incident and/or take immediate corrective action.
- Employers must adopt a comprehensive sexual harassment prevention policy and training that meets or exceeds state standards.
- Minor incidents are protected under state legislation, including “petty slights” or “trivial inconveniences”
- Sexual harassment complaints must be filed within three years of the alleged unlawful behavior.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is responsible for establishing wage and pay standards for most public and private employers. Sometimes, employers will unlawfully adjust an employee’s wages in an act of retaliation. The FLSA protects against:
- Unpaid or withheld wages
- Illegal deductions
- Failure to pay for benefits or wage supplements
FMLA violations; and
Issues of Public Health and Safety (Whistleblowing)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces protections of employees who report the violation of a workplace health or safety issue. This legislation, called the Whistleblower Protection Program, guards employees across industries from being unfairly retaliated against for reporting an injustice in their workplace.
I Have Experienced Workplace Retaliation. What Do I Do?
If you have experienced workplace retaliation, you have options. The first step is to report the incident(s) to the person responsible for fielding such complaints. Employees are also protected under federal and state legislation, and therefore can file claims through relevant organizations:
- At the state level, The New York State Division of Human Rights is the appropriate venue to file a complaint regarding workplace retaliation.
- Federally, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintains specific whistleblower laws to protect against retaliation
Why Work With Our Queens Workplace Retaliation Attorneys
If a complaint that you make to your employer triggers some form of retaliation, you may have a valid claim. We will advise you on the appropriate next steps. Employers often choose to retaliate against an employee who makes a complaint because they believe retaliation will intimidate and silence that employee and other employees. More specifically, our New York workplace retaliation lawyers are prepared to:
- Conduct an in-depth, confidential review of your retaliation claim;
- Answer your questions and advise you of your options;
- Investigate the matter—gathering all relevant documents, records, and evidence needed to prove retaliation;
- Help you assess options for settlement; and
- Take the appropriate legal action to protect your rights and interests.
When employees are too afraid to speak out, problems like discrimination and harassment persist and can worsen. By pursuing legal action against your employer, we not only work to recover any and all damages available to you under the law, including punitive damages, we also send a message to employers that retaliation is not acceptable. By enforcing your rights, we help protect the rights of others. We are prepared to take your retaliation claim as far as it needs to go to protect your rights. While many employment lawsuits can be settled, our trial-tested New York lawyers are always ready for court.
Call Our Queens Workplace Retaliation Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
The expert team of workplace retaliation lawyers at Ricotta & Marks has spent decades fighting for victims of workplace retaliation. As an employee, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer for engaging in illegal behavior or conduct.
If you feel you have been retaliated against in the workplace, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. Contact us today at 347-464-8694 for a confidential, no commitment initial consultation. We respond promptly to phone calls and provide our clients with personalized service. Our Queens office is convenient to several subway stops and our Queens office has parking.