Some New York residents may feel as if their bosses do not like them. Though this feeling may be uncomfortable, it does not necessarily mean that anything illegal is taking place. However, if workers feel that they are the victims of retaliation, they may be facing an entirely different ordeal altogether.

Of course, there are differences between unfair treatment and illegal retaliation. For instance, if a worker participated in a legal proceeding associated with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or opposed unlawful practices, that individual took part in a legally protected activity. If an employer took negative actions toward the employee after either of these actions, it is possible that the worker was being retaliated against.

Typically, the retaliatory actions from an employer have to be considered materially adverse. This term means that the employer, or another higher-up, took action in efforts to prevent a worker from playing a part in protected activity. Actions such as suspension, termination, denying a promotion, denying a raise or other benefits, or demoting a worker for participating in an EEOC legal process or opposing unlawful actions could be considered materially adverse actions.

Understandably, New York workers may not fully understand when they have been treated unfairly but legally and when they have been treated illegally. If workers have such concerns, it may prove worthwhile to have their concerns evaluated by parties experienced with this type of scenario. Employment law attorneys understand retaliation and the actions that may violate the law, and obtaining an assessment from legal professionals could provide insight into whether individuals may have valid claims.