Being treated unfairly on the job can be irksome to any New York worker. In some cases, the treatment may be annoying but not actually illegal. However, if the mistreatment results after a worker has filed a complaint or participated in an investigation into wrongdoing in the workplace, he or she could be facing retaliation.
Retaliation typically involves unfair treatment, such as a demotion or even termination, after a worker participates in a protected activity. As mentioned, filing complaints about wrongdoing in the workplace and participating in any investigations regarding unfair treatment are protected activities, and other actions such as utilizing time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act or requesting accommodations for a disability are also protected activities. Of course, retaliation does not have to come in the form of a major action like being fired.
Workers could face retaliatory actions in more subtle ways as well. For instance, a worker could start receiving unfair performance reviews or being assigned to unfavorable work shifts. In these more subtle cases, it can be difficult to know whether the actions are retaliatory or if an employer is making changes that he or she would have made anyway, like rescheduling workers due to staffing issues.
If any New York worker believes that he or she has faced retaliation on the job after participating in a protected activity, it is wise to gain more information on possible legal options. Even if parties are not entirely sure that the behavior they faced was illegal, consulting with employment law attorneys could allow them to obtain assessments of their ordeals. These assessments could then help them determine whether they have reason to move forward with legal action.