RETALIATION FOR EMPLOYEE COMPLAINTS ABOUT WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION IS UNLAWFUL

Your supervisor is constantly criticizing your work and telling you that women are useless in the workplace. You have left his office in tears on many occasions and would love to quit and find another job — but finding another job seems impossible. You finally get the courage to go to your supervisor’s manager, but when you tell him what your supervisor has been doing, he puts on a stony face and looks at his watch, and so you leave. You begin to notice that things are getting worse, not better. You are being given more work to do and less time to do it in. If you are afraid to complain for fear of reprisals, a New York City retaliation lawyer can explain your rights to you.

What is unlawful retaliation?

The law prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who asks for reasonable work adjustments for religious needs or because of a disability or complaints or filings of a formal charge about workplace discrimination. Prohibited retaliation is conduct that is intended to discourage an employee from opposing discrimination and can include:

  • Threats
  • Poor work evaluations or references that are undeserved
  • Increased supervision
  • False civil or criminal charges
  • Demotion, salary reductions,  reduction of benefits or less desirable working conditions

Complaints that are not shielded from retaliation

Not every complaint that is lodged against management is protected from employer retaliation. Whistleblowers who publicize or complain about a company’s financial or ethical wrongdoings are shielded from retaliatory actions under certain conditions. A person who acts unlawfully or threatens violence or interferes with another employee’s work is not protected from retaliation.

Protected opposition

Typically, employees are only shielded from retaliation for complaining about a hostile work environmentin instances where the employees:

  • Complain  about  discrimination directed against them or  someone else
  • Threaten to make a  discrimination charge
  • Picket against discrimination
  • Refuse to obey an order that appeared to be  discriminatory
  • File an employment discrimination charge, even if the claims were later shown to be unfounded
  • Participate in an internal or agency initiated investigation of discriminatory conduct

Under the New York City Human Rights Law, retaliation can include many forms of conduct and it is solely up to the jury to determine whether a particular act constitutes retaliation. The Akin Law Group can advise you as to whether you have experienced unlawful retaliation in your workplace.