In New York, employees and employers are in an at-will relationship. This means that the employer has the right to fire an employee at any time and the employee can leave his or her place of employment at his or her own discretion. At Mitchell Pollack & Associates, we understand the ins and outs of wrongful termination and how to determine if you faced wrongful termination.
According to FindLaw, there are federal laws in place to protect employees from discriminatory firing. Any illegal discharge is also wrongful termination. It is against the law to fire someone based on discrimination against a person’s age, genetic information, disability, gender, religion, national origin, race or sex.
In addition to prohibiting the firing of a protected class due to their inclusion in the protected class, employees cannot face harassment due to these categories. To classify as harassment, the comments must go beyond teasing and create a hostile environment for the employee.
What about when a whistleblower outs an employer on unsafe business practices. When an employee participates in reporting illegal behavior or safety violations, then the employer cannot fire said employee. This is retaliation. To prove retaliation, a person has to show that he or she made a report before the firing, that your employer reacted negatively or that you were discouraged or threatened for participating.
If a person has a contract with an employer and there are permissible reasons for termination, then the employee has to abide by the stated reasons. If he or she does not, then it could spell out wrongful termination.