Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are Long Island retaliation lawyers. Our lawyers are experienced in representing employees who have been retaliated against by their employers.
Laws in New York prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who complain about workplace discrimination, who oppose discriminatory practices in the workplace, or who participate in investigations relating to discrimination. Yet, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC, retaliation claims have been steadily increasing as a percentage of all claims filed with the EEOC since 1997. In 2017, retaliation charges accounted for 48.8% of all EEOC charge. In other words, nearly half of the charges filed with the EEOC related to retaliation in 2017. During the same period, overall EEOC filings have fluctuated.
On the federal level, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among other laws, all prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who complain about or oppose employment discrimination. In addition, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family Medical Leave Act have retaliation provisions. The New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights have similar prohibitions against retaliation in the workplace.
The reason for these laws’ anti-retaliation provisions is that lawmakers want to encourage victims of workplace discrimination to come forward. If victims were afraid of retaliation, they might not report discrimination or sexual harassment. Indeed, the #metoo movement is encouraging victims to come forward who have remained silent for years or decades because of fear of retaliation.
Workplace retaliation can take many forms. The law defines retaliation as an action taken by an employer which would dissuade a similarly situated employee from complaining about discrimination. Practically speaking, retaliation can be a demotion, an unfavorable transfer, withholding pay, or failing to promote an employee. These are just a few examples of retaliation in the workplace.
Evidence of retaliation can be tricky to find. Experienced employment lawyers, such as the Long Island retaliation attorneys of Famighetti & Weinick PLLC, look for clues or evidence of retaliation including the timing of the retaliation related to the complaint or finding employees who were treated more favorably than the victim but who did not complain about discrimination. An experienced employment attorney can also find other hidden evidence of workplace retaliation.
Although the law does not require that complaints of discrimination or complaints of sexual harassment be made in writing, an employment lawyer will typically suggest that employees make discrimination complaints in writing. That way, there is evidence of the complaint, in case the employer retaliates against the employee who made the complaint. This written evidence can be used later in court if there is a retaliation lawsuit.
The Long Island employment law firm Famighetti & Weinick PLLC is experienced in handling cases of workplace retaliation. An example of a workplace retaliation case that our employment lawyers may handle is where an employee experiences sexual harassment in the workplace. Typically, in retaliation cases the employee has a stellar performance record. But, after the sexual harassment victim complains about the harassment from his or her boss, the harasser suddenly issues a poor performance evaluation to the victim. Usually, this leads to the victim being terminated. The employment lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are experienced at building these types of workplace retaliation cases into strong retaliation lawsuits.