Fear of retaliation is the #1 reason employees suffer sexual harassment in silence. Especially when dealing with manager harassment in New York City, harassed employees don’t want to lose their jobs, suffer a demotion, or make a situation worse by filing a claim against someone else for harassment. Most workers know there are laws in place protecting them from workplace harassment, but they don’t realize that there are also laws protecting them from retaliation. If you or someone you know is facing sexual harassment at work, don’t let the fear of negative consequences stop you from speaking out. Hiring a New York City workplace retaliation lawyer can help protect those rights.
What is Workplace Retaliation in New York City?
Retaliation refers to any type of punishment an employee faces for engaging in an activity that the law protects. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that an employee has the right to file a claim or complaint about an employer who’s offensive or abusive, nationwide. If a worker was within his rights to file the claim and the employer cut his hours because of it, this is retaliation.
Retaliation can be obvious, such as a negative job action that affects the victim. This can include demotion, termination, salary reduction, disciplinary actions, or shift reassignment. However, retaliation in an NYC workplace can also be subtle, such as a supervisor ignoring you in employee meetings or leaving you out of workplace activities. The courts can view any negative action or conduct your experience because of reporting harassment or discrimination in the workplace as retaliation.
What is Hostile Work Environment Retaliation?
Hostile work environment retaliation refers to the act of punishing an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity. Workplace retaliation often involves an employer who retaliates against an employee for reporting harassment or discrimination.
This type of retaliation frequently comes in the form of adverse employment actions, such as an unfavorable shift change or termination. But another type of retaliation can involve the creation of what is known as a hostile work environment.
When a supervisor or co-worker engages in behaviors that intentionally create an uncomfortable work environment for an employee or employees, their actions may rise to the level of hostile work environment harassment. However, simply being rude or unfriendly isn’t enough to constitute a hostile work environment; the behaviors and actions must be discriminatory in nature to warrant a legal claim against the offending party or parties.
What Does The Law Say About Workplace Retaliation in NYC
There are multiple laws that protect your rights as a harassed employee in New York City. Title VII expressly prohibits retaliation when employees complain about sexual harassment or discrimination (based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other protected characteristics). This includes internal complaints to a department within the company as well as external complaints to agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or to an attorney. Even if an investigation shows the claim is unfounded, the employer can’t retaliate.
If an employee faces a hostile or uncomfortable work environment because of sexual harassment, he or she can file a complaint with whomever he or she wishes without fear of negative actions. If an employee doesn’t feel safe speaking with someone in the workplace, he or she can go directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission district office in NYC or contact a New York City workplace retaliation lawyer for legal advice.
Retaliation laws protect employees who come forward about sexual harassment as well as anyone involved in a discrimination proceeding or opposing discrimination. Any covered individual who suffers an adverse action due to his or her fight against sexual harassment is a victim of retaliation. Luckily, an NYC workplace retaliation lawyer can gather evidence of retaliation and present a case in front of a jury to win compensation for damages.
How to Build a Retaliation Case With an NYC Workplace Retaliation Lawyer
If your employer won’t correct a sexual harassment or retaliation problem, speak with a New York City workplace retaliation lawyer attorney at Joseph & Norinsberg LLC. We’ll help you gather evidence that proves a link between your complaint of sexual harassment and your employer’s retaliatory action or conduct. Evidence can include pay cuts, demotions, job transfers, or further harassment because of filing a complaint. Once we’ve built your case, we’ll present it to the jury in a way that makes your case compelling.
Victims of retaliation can receive recovery for lost wages, wages they would have received had they not missed a raise or promotion due to retaliation, job reinstatement if terminated, payment for mental anguish if the discriminatory acts were damaging, and money for attorneys’ fees. It’s worth filing a claim if you’re suffering retaliation for speaking against sexual harassment. Joseph & Norinsberg LLC is passionate about helping victims in the workplace and our attorneys are skilled professionals. Contact us today for a free initial case consultation.
How Do You Prove Retaliation in the Workplace?
To prove that you have been retaliated against in the workplace, it is critical to begin building a case against the responsible party or parties as soon as possible. Simply stating that you were terminated or demoted due to your race, religion, sex, or because you engaged in a legally protected activity, for example, is not enough. You have to be able to show a link between the adverse action and the protected category or activity.
When proving retaliation in the workplace it is critical to keep any emails, voice messages, texts, and hand-written notes that may help to substantiate your claim. Whenever harassing behavior occurs, make a detailed note of it, including the date and time. And if there are witnesses to the behavior, ask if they will support your claim.
Examples of Retaliation in the NY Workplace
Let’s say that your boss terminates you because you have repeatedly asked him to stop sexually harassing you. This is a clear example of retaliation but proving that the termination was retaliatory can be challenging. Your boss may claim to have fired you due to underperformance or because you are always late, for example. An experienced workplace retaliation lawyer can help.
Other examples of workplace retaliation in NY include:
- Failure to hire
- Unfavorable shift assignment
- Reduction in pay or benefits
- Hostile work environment
If you report or threaten to report your employer for harassment based on race, class, religion, sex, disability, or membership in another protected class, and your employer retaliates against you, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation in a workplace retaliation lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a strong retaliation case?
Having solid evidence is your best bet when it comes to winning a retaliation case. Employers will claim to have fired or demoted you due to poor performance or another legitimate reason, rather than admitting to discrimination. As such, any evidence of discrimination and/or your exemplary job performance are invaluable to a retaliation case.
Examples of useful evidence include positive performance reviews, witness statements, employment policies that contradict the employment action(s) taken against you, and emails, voice messages, or other types of communication showing discrimination.
What are the signs of workplace retaliation?
If you have recently complained about or reported some type of employment discrimination, workplace retaliation could take any of the following forms:
- Exclusion from work events;
- Unfavorable shift or department assignments;
- Reduction in pay or benefits;
- Hostile work environment;
- Unexpectedly poor performance review;
- Demotion; and
Contact Joseph & Norinsberg LLC Today
If you have been a victim of workplace harassment and/or you have been retaliated against by your employer, the skilled legal team at Joseph & Norinsberg LLC can help. Our highly-experienced team of retaliation attorneys will evaluate your case, help you gather evidence to substantiate your claim, and position you for the most favorable outcome possible. It’s never too early to get people on your side. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.