Four Common Kinds of Employer Retaliation

It is illegal under the New York Human Rights Law for an employer in New York State to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status, domestic violence victim status, military status, criminal or arrest record, or predisposing genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against an employee for making a complaint, either to their employer or to the government, based on discrimination they experience or observe. However, not all forms of retaliation are easy to spot. Here’s just a handful of ways an employee can be retaliated against by their employer:

Being fired or having pay cut

By far one of the most obvious forms of retaliation, an employer accused of discriminating against their employees may simply decide to get rid of the employee who complained about them. Alternately, they may decide to punish an employee by cutting their pay. Obviously, this can have severe economic consequences, and sometimes simply wielding the threat of a firing or a pay cut can be enough to stifle would-be complainants.

Suffering abuse or harassment

Another of the more obvious forms of retaliation, an employer who is displeased with an employee complaint can simply choose to berate, harass, intimidate, or even assault the complaining employee. While, again, these are all illegal, an employer who is already discriminating against their employees may be willing to commit illegal acts to cover up other illegal acts. The goal in harassing or abusing complainants is to either get them to drop their complaints, or to get them to leave the company on their own volition, which would deprive them of any benefits they might otherwise get for having their job terminated.

Getting passed over for promotions or raises

Just as victims of employment discrimination might find their opportunities for advancement within their company cut off, so too might people who complain about discrimination find themselves unable to get raises or promotions, despite the work they put in or the success they have at their job. It becomes a way of quietly smothering a person out of the job, by making it impossible to advance a career. This can be more difficult to prove as people get passed over for raises and promotions all the time, for reasons that have nothing to do with employee retaliation.

Negative employee reviews

An increasingly common way for employers to retaliate against employees who complain about discrimination is to give them bad performance reviews. Employees who previously excelled in their job may find their reviews becoming worse, even if they haven’t changed anything else about their work habits or attitude. The reviews may say they “don’t take direction well,” or that they’re “not a team player,” or that they “lack emotional intelligence.”

If you have been discriminated against by your employer, or have suffered retaliation for complaining about discrimination by your employer, you seek the guidance of an experienced New York employment lawyer who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf during the legal process. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with forty years of experience in handling the many aspects of employment law. To schedule an appointment with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky

When people think of employment discrimination, whether based on gender, race, age, sexuality or disability, they usually have a specific picture of what that looks like. They imagine bigoted tirades or inappropriate physical contact, or managers or executives outright declaring their refusal to treat certain kinds of people as equals. That said, with employers now more conscious of lawsuits than ever, discrimination can often take more subtle forms. Continue reading “When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky”

Age Discrimination Is Illegal

Recently, a federal lawsuit was filed against Amazon and T-Mobile, among others, for discriminating against older employees in violation of the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA). According to the complaint, these companies posted recruitment advertisements on Facebook, a social media platform, which targeted only specific age groups.
Continue reading “Age Discrimination Is Illegal”

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Public Portal

On November 1, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched a public portal that will give people online access to inquiries about discrimination. “The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.” The public portal will make EEOC information, as well as personal charge information, easily accessible. The features included in the public portal are currently available for all newly filed charges and any charges that were filed on or after January 1, 2016 that are currently in investigation or mediation. Continue reading “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Public Portal”

New York City Human Rights Law

In 2016, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights experienced a sixty percent increase in complaints relating to discrimination and harassment.

The New York City Human Rights Law is a statute that provides an individual with protections in addition to federal and state regulations. It addresses discrimination in the workplace, housing complexes, public spaces, harassment by law enforcement, and retaliation.  Furthermore, it covers employment discrimination against all New York City workers and even interns. Also, it establishes protected classes, which include:

Continue reading “New York City Human Rights Law”

U.S. Appeals Court Rules That LGBT Workers Are Protected From Bias

Recently, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that a civil rights law from 1964 protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination. The 8-3 decision is the first ruling by the federal appeals court to recognize that law as protecting the rights of LGBT individuals in the workplace.

Continue reading “U.S. Appeals Court Rules That LGBT Workers Are Protected From Bias”

The “Snowflake Test”: Is It Legal?

snowflakeWhile it is not uncommon for employers to give assessment tests to potential job candidates, one U.S. company has caught the eye of the media for its unusual vetting tool. Kyle Reyes, Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing, a public relations firm located in Hilliard Mills, Connecticut, created the controversial “snowflake test” as a means of weeding out candidates who don’t fit the company’s culture – specifically, “overly sensitive, liberal candidates that are too easily offended.” However, despite the significant publicity and, in some cases, praise, others have fiercely criticized the assessment and called into question the ethics and legality of it.

Continue reading “The “Snowflake Test”: Is It Legal?”

New Proposal from DOJ Seeks to Reduce Employment Discrimination against Immigrants

Law360 recently reported that The Department of Justice is proposing a new rule that would implement changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act, including how certain terms would be defined in regards to the so-called “unfair, immigration-related employment practices” based on the employee’s immigration status or nation of origin. Continue reading “New Proposal from DOJ Seeks to Reduce Employment Discrimination against Immigrants”

Cancer in the Workplace

According to the National Cancer Center Institute (NCCI), this year, there will be an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States. The NCCI reported the number of new cancer cases for women and men per year is 454.8 per 100,000 people. Also, some of the most common cancers in 2016 are expected to be prostate cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, bronchus cancer, rectum cancer, colon cancer, skin melanoma, endometrial cancer, thyroid cancer, and leukemia.

Continue reading “Cancer in the Workplace”

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Since their integration into the workplace, women have become an important part of today’s labor force. In recent years, working women have made strides to become a critical part of the labor force while simultaneously raising and supporting their families. According to Pew Research Center, mothers serve as the sole or primary provider in 40 percent of households with children. Despite this progress, women have faced a variety of obstacles in the workplace, including one of the most prominent issues: pregnancy discrimination.

Continue reading “Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace”