At Will, Not Anything Goes

New York is an “at will” employment state.  What that means is in most cases an employer can fire an employee at any time, without notice, for no reason at all.  An employee in New York who tries to bring a lawsuit arguing that their termination “wasn’t fair” because they were fired for no reason will quickly have their case dismissed.

At-will employment has developed a reputation as being entirely biased in favor of the employer.  This is a misconception.  Yes, employment at will gives the employer the power to fire without cause, and sometimes that leads to unfair results.  However, it also gives the employee the freedom to leave employment at any time, without notice – which is an important freedom for employees.  Thus, if you get a better offer, you can take it free from legal liability.  In this way, it is a trade-off.

Employment at will means the employer does not need cause to fire you, but it does not mean employees are completely without protection from wrongful terminations.  The following are a few common restrictions on an employer’s right to terminate an employee

Employment Contract

Employment at will is the default rule, but employers and employees are still free to enter into contracts that restrict the employer’s right to fire or the employee’s right to leave during a given period.  However, an employment contract alone is not enough; it must contain a concrete term, or period of time.

Whistleblower Protections

A whistleblower is an individual who comes forward regarding illegal or dangerous conduct by a company or one of its employees.  Oftentimes the information the whistleblower comes forward with is important to protecting the safety and well-being of employees.  For example, a whistleblower may bring information about OSHA violations to light that put employees at risk of serious injury or death.  When the regulatory authorities become aware of that complaint, they can investigate and ensure that it is fixed, thereby protecting employees.

There are many New York and federal laws that protect whistleblowers from being terminated in retaliation for their disclosure.  Reporting health and safety violations, illegal trading, discrimination or harassment are a few of the types of situations where whistleblowers are protected.

Discrimination

Much of the work that we do at Joseph & Norinsberg involves employees that have unfairly and illegally been discriminated against by their current or prospective employers.  Even in an at-will employment state like New York, employers cannot terminate employees because of their religion, sexual orientation, race, origin, gender, or marital status.  Federal and New York state laws protect employees from this type of unethical conduct.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

Employees are sometimes reluctant to report an on-the-job injury for fear that they will be fired for causing an increase in their employer’s insurance premiums.  Sadly, this does happen on occasion, and employees have options if it does.  Employers cannot fire employees for making workers’ compensation claims.

Permissible or Impermissible Termination?

If you have been terminated for one of these reasons or another reason that feels unjust or unfair, contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Joseph & Norinsberg at  (212) JUSTICE or e-mail us at info@employeejustice.com.  We can analyze your case to determine whether you have been subject to a wrongful termination with legal remedies.

2020-09-18T20:29:23+00:00June 4th, 2015|Miscellaneous|

Glowing Client Reviews

I am very amazed and pleased for the wonderful work Diego Barros did for me and our co-workers, speechless to see how wonderful and constructive everything work. First time with Diego Barros and i am totally impressed to have seen how great you have worked for all of us, i will totally recommend you to anybody who is in need of help without at doubt at all in all senses.

Mr. Diego helped me WIN and reach a great settlement. Wages recovered from lack of pay and serious misconducts from employer. He was very informative and easy to talk to every step of the way. Very happy with the settlement I received. He will go for the win and get you what you deserve! If you having problems with employment I give Mr. Diego my full recommendation to get your issues resolved.

Jon and his team are amazing. They fought every step of the way for me and my family. My case was handled with such care and concern and Jon’s honesty gave me great confidence in his ability to win my case.

To have Bennitta Joseph who wins high profile cases against companies like Delta is a win for any company. The fact that they equip entrepreneurs like me with tools to compete with fortune 500 is a competitive advantage. If you are a company that deals with people and wants to succeed, hiring her is a must!

This was the first and hopefully my last lawsuit and the process wasn’t what I thought. The patience shown to me (even when I became frustrated) was great. Everyone showed respect, sensitivity, and I’d recommend the firm to everyone. Losing my job set me behind on several bills, but I can now pay them. The situation I went through will help me going forward.

This was the first and hopefully my last lawsuit and the process wasn’t what I thought. The patience shown to me (even when I became frustrated) was great. Everyone showed respect, sensitivity, and I’d recommend the firm to everyone. Losing my job set me behind on several bills, but I can now pay them. The situation I went through will help me going forward.

Bennitta Joseph is committed to Justice. After be wronged at work in 2015, and discriminated against I felt very hopeless and wronged. I felt as though I had no hope standing up to a corporate giant, and no chance of winning. After explaining my case and sharing the facts Bennitta felt differently. She did warn me it would be a long and tough road and that I had to have thick skin. In my experience if you take Bennitta’s lead and trust her legal experience no case it too big, or too small for her…

Me trataron muy bien y estoy satisfecho con el servicio. Inicialmente llamé para unirme a un caso anterior, pero cuando ya era demasiado tarde para unirme a ese caso, estaban felices de luchar por un segundo caso. No pensé que podrían hacer que otro caso funcionara, pero lo hicieron. Aprendí cuáles son mis derechos en cuanto a salario mínimo y tiempo extra y puedo usar esta información en el futuro. Recomiendo mucho la oficina.

TESTIMONIALS

I am very amazed and pleased for the wonderful work Diego Barros did for me and our co-workers, speechless to see how wonderful and constructive everything work. First time with Diego Barros and i am totally impressed to have seen how great you have worked for all of us, i will totally recommend you to anybody who is in need of help without at doubt at all in all senses.
Ysaac G
Mr. Diego helped me WIN and reach a great settlement. Wages recovered from lack of pay and serious misconducts from employer. He was very informative and easy to talk to every step of the way. Very happy with the settlement I received. He will go for the win and get you what you deserve! If you having problems with employment I give Mr. Diego my full recommendation to get your issues resolved. 
D.F.
To have Bennitta Joseph who wins high profile cases against companies like Delta is a win for any company. The fact that they equip entrepreneurs like me with tools to compete with fortune 500 is a competitive advantage. If you are a company that deals with people and wants to succeed, hiring her is a must!
Karleen L.
This was the first and hopefully my last lawsuit and the process wasn’t what I thought.  The patience shown to me (even when I became frustrated) was great.  Everyone showed respect, sensitivity, and I’d recommend the firm to everyone.  Losing my job set me behind on several bills, but I can now pay them.  The situation I went through will help me going forward. 
Isaiah B.
I had an excellent experience with the firm and with Bennitta Joseph as my attorney. Everyone I dealt with was extremely courteous, friendly and very helpful. The settlement will help me financially as I look for a job.
Kate P.

New York City Employment Attorney Profiles

NEW YORK CITY EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEY PROFILES

Our Successful Case Results

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Reinoso v. New York City Transit Authority

$7.0M

Morse v. Spitzer

$2.5M

Guzman v. City of New York

$2.0M

Code v. City of New York

$1.8M

Williams v. New York City Transit

$1.5M

Dominguez v. Moskowitz, M.D.

$1.4M

Carvalho v. MonteFiore

$1.4M

Zambrano v. Sound Shore Medical Center

$1.0M

R. v. City of New York

$750K

Rivera v. 260 W. 135 LLC

$750K

Levans v. Delta Air Lines, Inc

$600K

Jacqueline Winbush v. City of New York

$500K

Minor v. City of New York

$500K

Dortch v. Montefiore Medical Center

$400K

Zomber v. Village of Garden City

$190K

Marshall v. Randall

$175K

S.A. v. City of New York

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