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When does an employee have grounds for a workplace retaliation claim?

Federal, state and city anti-discrimination laws protect employees in New York from retaliation by employers. Illegal workplace retaliation can take many forms, not all of which are obvious. Following are some ways in which employees may be illegally retaliated against:

  • The employer gives a negative performance evaluation after the employee reports sexual harassment to Human Resources.
  • The employer demotes or fires the employee for participating in an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • The employer gives the employee a negative reference after the employee made a good-faith complaint that ultimately couldn't be proven.

A Long Island woman has brought a workplace retaliation lawsuit against her former employer, a neurologist. According to the suit, the doctor began discriminating against the woman, making her feel demeaned, after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013.

The woman says she was worried about telling her employer about her diagnosis because of his obsession with keeping employee health care costs at a minimum. She says that, after she did tell him and requested that he keep the information confidential, news of her illness nonetheless spread to the other employees in the office, and the doctor "openly mocked" her about her disease and her appearance.

According to the suit, the doctor also openly blamed the woman and her medical condition for increases in the company's insurance premiums.

After the woman complained about the mistreatment numerous times, she was fired.

An article in the New York Daily News has more details on what the woman endured.

If you believe you may have grounds for a workplace retaliation claim, then an employment law attorney can investigate your case and explain your legal options.

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