Where Do I Report Wrongful Termination in New York?

Submitted by Elizabeth on Thu, 09/07/2023 - 15:47

Were you recently fired in New York State? Do you believe the reason your employer fired you is illegal?

If so, you might have a valid wrongful termination case. By taking legal action against your employer, you could seek financial compensation and/or reinstatement to your job. Keep reading to learn more about the process.

What is Wrongful Termination?  

In an at-will employment state like New York, an employer can fire an employee virtually whenever they wish to. They may not even have to give a reason for doing so.

This doesn’t mean employers can fire workers for literally any reason whatsoever in New York. Both federal law and state law establish illegal reasons for terminating employees.

Wrongful discrimination may occur if an employer fires an employee due to the employee being a member of a protected group or having a certain protected characteristic. Such protected characteristics include:

  • Race/color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Marital status
  • Military/veteran status

Discrimination isn’t the only form wrongful termination can take in New York. Wrongful termination might also take the form of retaliation.

Perhaps you reported unsafe work conditions at your place of employment to a regulatory body or other such agency. This might have attracted negative attention to your employer. In retaliation, your employer may have terminated you. Doing so is illegal.

It’s not always clear whether an employer has broken the law when firing an employee. This is at least partially due to the fact that employers tend to fabricate legal reasons for firing workers when they know their actual reasons are illegal.

If you’re not sure whether you have a valid wrongful termination case, consider reviewing the matter with an wrongful termination attorney. They can help you better understand your legal options.

Reporting Wrongful Termination To the New York State Division of Human Rights 

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) enforces many of the state laws pertaining to wrongful termination. You may begin taking action against a former employer by filing a complaint with the DHR. Check the website to learn more about the details of the process.

The DHR will review your complaint. The DHR may then initiate its own investigation into the matter. Upon completing their investigation, the DHR will explain how you may proceed.

Reporting Wrongful Termination To the EEOC 

When victims of wrongful termination file complaints with state agencies, often, those state agencies will also file these complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This federal agency handles matters like workplace discrimination and wrongful termination.

Ask the DHR representative if they will also be contacting the EEOC on your behalf when you file a complaint. If they won’t, file a complaint with the EEOC yourself. You can do so online.

Speak With An Employment Law Attorney  

Again, a wrongful termination lawyer could review your case and explain whether you have grounds to take legal action against an employer. If you hire an attorney, they might also help you gather evidence, complete paperwork, and generally present a strong case. Learn more about what a New York employment law attorney may do for you by taking the Free Case Evaluation on this page today. 

Additional Resources  

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