Employees in New York State and elsewhere are guaranteed certain rights and protections by federal, state, and local employment laws, including protection against discrimination and the right to a minimum wage and overtime. The laws that grant employees these rights also grant them one further protection: the protection against retaliation for raising their rights.

Employers are not permitted to reprimand, demote, or terminate an employee in retaliation for that employee asserting their rights ­or the rights of others. The Harman Firm, LLP has a team of experienced legal professionals that has represented hundreds of employees who have been retaliated against.

Anti-Discrimination Retaliation

Employees are protected by a number of anti-discrimination statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. These laws create a patchwork of various protected statuses; together, they prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, age, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and pregnancy, as well as a number of additional protected classes. Under these laws, if an employee complains to their employer or a suitable government body about illegal discrimination, the employer cannot retaliate against the employee for doing so.

Wage-and-Hour Retaliation

Employees in New York are entitled to a basic minimum wage in accordance with New York State Labor Law, and employees across the United States are guaranteed a minimum wage by the Fair Labor Standards Act. These same laws entitle millions of employees to overtime pay when they work more than forty hours per week.

These laws also allow employees to raise their rights without fear of retribution: employers cannot retaliate against employees for complaining – either to their employer or to the government – about minimum wage or overtime violations. At the Harman Firm, LLP, we regularly represent workers who have been fired after asking to be paid the basic minimum wage or the overtime that they legally deserve.

Whistleblowing Retaliation

A number of federal and state laws create protection for employees who blow the whistle on their employer’s illegal activities by alerting their supervisors or the government. In New York State, this includes any illegal activity that puts the safety of the public at risk. Employers do not typically want their illegal activities exposed and often pressure employees to recant their whistleblowing with threats, punishing those who do not comply. This conduct is illegal, and The Harman Firm, LLP has extensive experience in representing employees who have blown the whistle on a wide variety of illegal activities in many sectors, from financial to medical.

Family Medical Leave Retaliation

The Family and Medical Leave Act creates a right to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for employees of companies with more than fifty employees. The employee must have worked at the company for at least a year to be eligible for this leave. The Family Medical Leave Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising this right.

There are protections in place to ensure that you can exercise your legal rights without being retaliated against by your employer. If your employer has unlawfully retaliated against you, contact The Harman Firm, LLP.

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