Like many other states, New York has at-will employment laws. Such laws allow employers to fire employees for many reasons, or for no reason at all.
This doesn’t mean employers can terminate your employment for absolutely any reason whatsoever. Both federal law and New York State wrongful termination laws establish certain illegal reasons to fire employees.
Do you believe your former employer broke the law when they fired you? If so, the following overview will explain how you can prove wrongful termination. This is key to bringing a case against your former employer.
How To Prove Wrongful Termination In New York
Employers are often aware they are engaging in wrongful termination when they fire employees for illegal reasons. To protect themselves, they may fabricate reasons for letting employees go.
For example, an employer who has fired you for an illegal reason might have lied and claimed they were firing you because your performance at work had declined. Or, an employer might simply choose not to give a reason for firing a worker.
This is why gathering evidence is a very important step to take when you’re planning to file a wrongful termination claim or lawsuit. You need to be able to prove your employer actually fired you for illegal reasons and not the reason they gave for letting you go.
The specific types of evidence that may support your case can vary depending on the specifics of your case. That said, common types of evidence that may help prove wrongful termination include:
- Employment contracts
- Text messages
- Chat logs
- Witness statements
- Performance reviews
Be aware that you may not need to gather all necessary evidence on your own. A New York wrongful termination attorney can evaluate your case to determine if it has merit, and assist you in collecting evidence if so.
What Is Considered Wrongful Termination
There are several potentially illegal reasons for employers to fire employees in New York. Common examples include:
- Discrimination: An employer can’t fire you because of protected characteristics, such as race, gender, age, religion, or disability, etc. Employers may also engage in illegal discrimination if they refuse to hire based on such characteristics.
- Retaliation: Federal and New York law allow employees to engage in certain protected activities. Examples include filing complaints with HR, reporting unsafe work conditions, participating in investigations into their employers, and similar activities. An employer cannot fire an employee for taking such actions.
- Breach of Contract: Sometimes, an employment contract will outline the reasons an employer can or can’t terminate your employment. You may be a victim of wrongful termination if an employer breaches the terms of a contract.
Speak With an Employment Law Attorney
Unless you’re thoroughly familiar with all the relevant laws and statutes, you might not be certain whether a former employer broke the law when they fired you. This is one of many reasons it’s wise to discuss your case with a New York wrongful termination lawyer.
They can explain whether you have reason to take legal action. A lawyer may also help you gather the evidence you need to prove your employer fired you for illegal reasons. Get started by scheduling a free case evaluation today.