Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are employment lawyers on Long Island, New York who handle cases of wrongful termination. Wrongful termination on Long Island can come in different forms, such as discrimination or retaliation.
Employees in New York are considered to work at-will. At-will employment means that employers can hire or fire employees for any reason or no reason at all. The reason, however, cannot be an unlawful reason. Because of employment at-will in New York, unlawful reasons are created by the passage of laws so there are only a few reasons which may considered wrongful termination in New York. An employer simply making up a reason, framing an employee, or believing one employee’s story over another, are generally not wrongful terminations. These acts, however, may be evidence of a wrongful termination and be used as evidence of discrimination or retaliation.
Federal law, New York State law, and New York City law, all prohibit employers from terminating employees because of discrimination. Only certain types of discrimination are prohibited. In New York, employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis race, sex, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender stereotyping, military service, criminal conviction status, age, religion, or disability.
Laws in New York also prohibit employers from terminating employees who engage in concerted activity. Although this prohibition arises from the National Labor Relations Act — the statute which regulates unions — the NLRA nonetheless protects most employees who talk or complain to one other about workplace conditions. The NLRA also protects an employee who complains to management about workplace conditions on behalf of other employees.
Further, in New York, employers may not terminate employees for exercising their rights under the FMLA or the FLSA.
Like discriminatory terminations, federal law, New York State law, and New York City law prohibit terminating employees in retaliation for protected activity. The key is protected activity. Retaliation protection is provided only when an employee engages in conduct protected by statute. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. So, if a female employee complains to her employer that she was not promoted because she was female, the employee has engaged in protected activity. If the employer fires the female employee because of her complaint, she has a retaliation claim.
On the other hand, if the female employee complains that she did not get a promotion because the owner decided to give the promotion to his son, then that conduct is really nepotism, not sex discrimination, so the female employee is not protected in this situation because, generally, nepotism is not prohibited by Title VII.
Retaliation provisions also protects employees who take FMLA leave or request a reasonable accommodation for a disability under the ADA. Similarly, military service members who take time to serve their country are generally protected by USERRA and employers are prohibited from retaliating against those who serve in the military.
Civil service employees on Long Island and in New York — employees of state or local governments — generally have more protections than private sector employees. Many civil service employees are protected by Article 75 of the Civil Service Law. Article 75 says that, generally, civil service employees can be terminated only for just cause. Just cause must be determined at hearing. Civil service employees who are protected by Article 75 and who are terminated without a hearing, may have Constitutional claims such as a due process claim and may have rights under a union contract.
Victims of wrongful termination on Long Island may have several options to find justice. Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are employment lawyers on Long Island who may be able to help your case of wrongful termination. We can be contacted at 631-352-0050 or on the web at http://linycemploymentlaw.com.
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