When an employer takes adverse action against an employee for engaging in a protected activity, the employer has retaliated against an employee. Retaliation is against the law in New York and employers who
What is a protected activity?
Employees are exercising their legal rights when they engage in a protected activity. An employee may:
- Report or oppose unlawful conduct within the organization
- Initiate or participate in an investigation involving the organization
- Exercise rights related to their employment
Some specific examples of engaging in a protected activity include:
- An eligible employee taking leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- An employee refusing to participate in activities that would result in discrimination.
- An employee reporting discrimination or harassment to a supervisor.
- An employee serving as a witness in an EEO lawsuit.
- An employee requesting reasonable accommodations for their disability.
How do employers take adverse action against an employee engaging in protected activity?
Employers may attempt to stop an employee from exercising their protected rights by taking adverse action against them. There is no set list of adverse employment actions, so courts will generally consider whether the employee was treated reasonably by their employer, based on the circumstances. However, some of the most common adverse actions taken by employers include:
- Termination of employment
- Demotion (loss of pay, loss of benefits loss of job responsibilities, less distinguished job title)
- Failure to promote
- Denial of leave
- Intolerable work conditions or unfavorable reassignment
Filing a retaliation claim against your employer
If your employer has taken materially adverse action against you after you engaged in protected activity, and there is a causal connection between the adverse action and protected activity, you may have a claim for retaliation. An employment law attorney can help file a claim against your employer and help collect the evidence you need to prove your case and recover damages.