Workplace Retaliation Victims Beware: A Heightened Burden to Bear

The Supreme Court recently clarified the standard for victims alleging retaliation in federal court in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar. The burden is on the plaintiff to show that the alleged discriminatory action is the “but-for” or determinative cause of the retaliatory discharge, rather than just a motivating factor that led to the employee’s termination from employment.

This heightened burden means that — even if an employer admits to an illegitimate reason for firing the employee — a jury can dismiss the claim entirely without vindicating the employees’ wrongful termination lawsuit if the employer provides even one legitimate reason justifying why they would have fired the worker anyway. The case marks a significant reduction in workers’ rights.

While it is true that employment in New York is at-will, you could have a legitimate claim if your employment rights were violated. Talk to a workplace retaliation attorney in New York if:

  • You engaged in protected conduct (like whistleblowing or taking action to stop discrimination, obtain leave, seek employment benefits, receive equal pay or unionize)
  • The employer takes material adverse action against you (such as demotion, discharge or pay reductions)
  • There is a causal relationship between the protected conduct and the adverse action

For more information about workplace retaliation lawsuits in the New York City or the five boroughs, contact an experienced employment attorney.

 

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