New York City Attorney Specializing in Employment Litigation

Retaliation includes any adverse action taken against an employee to discourage them and other workers from reporting discrimination or otherwise asserting their legal rights. It may also include adverse actions taken against an employee to discourage them from supporting someone else’s report of discrimination or engaging in another protected activity. Retaliation laws also apply when the retaliation occurs at a new employer in connection to actions taken at a previous employer or union. Emre Polat is an experienced New York City retaliation lawyer representing employees in these claims. If related issues arise in the workplace, he also can provide assistance to workers that need a discrimination attorney or guidance in other employment disputes.


Adverse actions that constitute retaliation may include firing or demoting an employee for complaining about discrimination. They may also include refusing to promote a qualified worker because of the qualified worker’s discrimination complaint or the worker’s willingness to assist a co-worker with a discrimination lawsuit. Sometimes retaliation is couched in a conversation about “loyalty” to the company. Retaliation may also exist when an employer reduces hours severely, allows harassment, provides negative reviews not justified by facts, or reassigns a worker to less desirable duties.

The anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Equal Pay Act, prohibit retaliation. For example, if you file a good-faith charge with the EEOC, claiming that your employer failed to provide you with a reasonable accommodation and permitted harassment against you based on your disability, and then you are terminated, you may be able to bring a retaliation claim. Even if it turns out that you were wrong that what happened to you was illegal, if you reasonably believed that you were mistreated based on your disability, you may be able to prevail in your retaliation claim.

State anti-discrimination laws, such as the New York Human Rights Law and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, also prohibit retaliation. These laws protect a greater range of groups. For example, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital status. If you complain to HR in good faith that you suffered from discrimination because you are divorced, and then you are reassigned to an unfavorable department, you may want to consult a retaliation attorney in New York City about whether you may have a claim.

Under Section 215 of the New York State Labor Law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for complaining about a potential Labor Law violation to the employer, complaining about it to the Labor Department, providing information to the Labor Department, exercising rights protected by the Labor Law, or testifying in an investigation brought under the Labor Law. When an employer violates the prohibition against retaliation, a penalty may be assessed, payment of lost compensation may be ordered, or liquidated damages may be ordered.

An employee may also sue in civil court. In civil litigation, it may be possible for an employee to be reinstated to a position or seniority lost as a result of retaliation, obtain lost compensation, recover damages of up to $20,000, and recover reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Another type of retaliation occurs when an employee becomes a whistleblower who reports illegal conduct by the employer. There are several federal laws that protect you in case your employer tries to punish you for engaging in whistleblowing.

In many cases, employers are able to make up a different reason for taking an adverse action against you. However, it may be possible to build your case if the adverse action happened close in time to the employer finding out about your protected activity, or if other employees acted in the same way as you are accused of acting but did not receive the same response. An experienced litigator can investigate and advise you on whether you may have a case.

Protect Your Rights by Retaining a Retaliation Lawyer in New York City

Retaliation lawsuits are more likely to reach a favorable outcome for you with the help of a skillful attorney who can make sure that your rights are protected. New York City retaliation attorney Emre Polat is an experienced and aggressive litigator providing representation to employees who are subject to retaliation in the workplace in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Contact us at (212) 480-4500 or via our online form to set up an appointment with a wrongful termination lawyer or obtain assistance regarding another type of employment matter.

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