If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated from your job, you may be entitled to compensation for any resulting damages. Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for an unlawful reason, such as illegal discrimination, making a good-faith complaint about illegal discrimination, good-faith complaint about not being paid your lawful wages. Working with a New York City wrongful termination lawyer can help you understand your rights and protections as an employee in New York and pursue legal action if you have a case.
At-Will Employment in New York and New Jersey
If there is no specific agreement stating otherwise, the law presumes that employment is at will in 49 states; Montana is the odd man out. At-will employment effectively means that the employee can be terminated at the employer’s will. There are, however, many agreed-upon exceptions to at-will employment. In these cases, an employee can only be terminated with good cause. But wrongful termination can occur regardless of whether or not employment is at will.
Bottom line: when employment is at will, the employer doesn’t need a good reason, but it does need a lawful reason.
At Joseph & Norinsberg LLC, we have been helping New York and New Jersey employees protect their rights for more than 20 years. If you have been terminated for an unlawful reason, speak with a New York City wrongful termination lawyer from our highly-skilled legal team to help you determine how to proceed.
Employee Rights and Protections Against Wrongful Termination in New York
Depending on the circumstances of your unique case, there may be certain protections available to you following a wrongful termination in New York. Some of the most common protections involve your right to report unlawful behavior (such as illegal acts of discrimination and sexual harassment), being a whistleblower, or complaining about not being paid your lawful wages (such as a failure to pay overtime).
Equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws forbid retaliatory termination of employees who exercise their right to report workplace discrimination, or support another person’s claim. In the United States, reporting this type of unlawful behavior is a “protected activity.” If it can be proven that an employee was fired because he/she spoke to a supervisor about discrimination, filed a discrimination claim, or is a witness in an EEO charge, the termination will likely be deemed unlawful.
There are also general whistleblower protections available to employees who disclose illegal business activities and are fired in retaliation.
In the scenarios above, however, the reason for termination has to be discriminatory, in retaliation for exercising EEO rights, or in retaliation for the employee’s protected status as a whistleblower. EEO and whistleblower rights do not automatically make an employee immune to termination if the reason for termination is lawful.
Wrongful termination also applies to certain rights an employee retains even after being fired or penalized for lawful or unlawful reasons. For instance, you may have the right to continue medical coverage or collect unemployment compensation, depending on the particulars of your case. Veterans may receive additional protections through the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). An experienced NYC wrongful termination lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been illegally fired from your job.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prove wrongful termination?
In order to recover damages in a wrongful termination case, you must be able to prove that you were, in fact, terminated for an unlawful reason. To do this effectively, it is in your best interest to consult with a skilled employment attorney who can help you gather direct and indirect evidence to substantiate your claim.
What sort of remedies are available for wrongful termination?
Possible damages in a successful wrongful termination case may include lost wages, loss of future earnings, loss of employment benefits, and emotional pain and suffering.
What are lawful reasons for termination?
In some cases, an employee may feel that he/she was fired for illegal reasons when, in fact, the termination was lawful. Unfair does not always equal unlawful. Reasons for lawful termination are extensive, from always coming to work late or failing to perform job duties, to harassing other employees or being drunk on the job.
What are unlawful reasons for termination?
Wrongful termination can occur for myriad reasons, but some of the most common involve:
If You Have Been Wrongfully Terminated, You are Not Alone
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 19 million employment terminations occur annually. Furthermore, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports a whopping 84,254 charges of employment discrimination in 2017 alone. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you are not alone, and you have rights. Consult with a wrongful termination attorney immediately.
Contact An Experienced NYC Wrongful Termination Lawyer Today
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated from your job, a wrongful termination lawyer at Joseph & Norinsberg LLC can help. For more than 20 years, our skilled, dedicated employment lawyers have been protecting the rights of employees across New York and New Jersey. Don’t go through this stressful time alone; contact a New York City wrongful termination lawyer and book a free and confidential consultation through our website today.