Can You Be Fired Without Warning In New York?

Submitted by pec on

If you were fired without warning in New York, you may be wondering if you have any right to fight your termination. New York is an at-will employment state, but that doesn’t mean that you can be fired for any reason. If you were fired for a discriminatory reason your firing may not be lawful.

Can I Be Fired Without Warning?

Because New York is an at-will employment in most cases employers don’t need to give any warning before they terminate an employee. At-will employment means that an employer can fire an employee without notice for almost any reason, or for no reason at all. The only time that an employee can’t be fired without warning in New York is if that employee is fired for a reason that is protected by employment law. If you believe that you were fired for an illegal or discriminatory reason then you can file a claim against your employer with the EEOC.

Illegal Reasons To Fire Someone In New York

Employees have legal protects at the Federal and state level that protect them from being fired because of a discriminatory reason. Some of the illegal reasons to fire an employee in New York are:


Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act says that employer can’t fire someone based on that person’s race, gender, orientation, religion, or where they are from. New York state’s Human Rights law says that employers can’t fire someone based on their race, gender, orientation, religion, where they are from, disability, age, veteran status, and more. If you believe you were fired for one of those reasons you can file a claim against your employer.


Your employer can’t fire you as a form of retaliation. If you file a complaint with the EEOC because you are being discriminated against at work and your employer fires you that’s retaliation. They are attempting to punish you for exercising your rights. That’s illegal, and it makes your firing illegal.

Whistle blowing

Your employer also can’t fire you if you turn them in for breaking health and safety laws or any other laws. If you contact OSHA or any other government agency because your employer is operating the business in an unsafe way or if they are deliberately violating employment law or codes your employer can’t fire you for that.

Breach of contract

If firing you without warning is a breach of the employment contract that you have with an employer then your employer can’t fire you without warning.

What Can I Do If I Was Illegally Fired In New York?

If you believe that you were fired for an illegal reason in New York you can file a complaint against your employer with the EEOC or the New York Division of Human Rights. But, you will need to show evidence that your firing was for a discriminatory reason in order to prevail.

Get Help With Your Wrongful Termination Claim

New York employers can fire employees for almost any reason because New York is an at will employment state. But if you believe that you were fired for an unlawful or discriminatory reason you should talk to an employment lawyer now to find out more about filing a complaint against that employer. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent employment law attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.

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