Wrongful Termination Attorneys in New York City

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Wrongful termination in New York City occurs when an employee is terminated for a reason that violates the laws intended to protect employees. Most employment in New York City is at-will, meaning an employer can fire and employee at any time for any reason, as long as the reason is legal. Wrongful termination comes into play when employees are fired for an unlawful reason. For the past 25 years, the attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group have helped employees that have been wrongfully terminated in New York City get the compensation they deserve.

What Is Wrongful Termination in New York City?

Wrongful termination is not a cut and dry type of situation. While it is never fun and never feels “fair” to be fired from a job, New York City has at-will employment. This means that unless you are a contract employee, your employer can fire you for almost any reason, at any time. The reality is, he does not even need a reason to fire you. In the same vein, unless you are under contract, you can quit anytime and for any reason.

However, like any law, there are exceptions to the rule. An employer cannot fire you if it is against the terms of your contract, you are pregnant, in retaliation for you reporting issues to HR, refusing sexual advances, or being a whistleblower, or because of your race, gender, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, disability, religion, age, citizenship status, or gender identification (also known as a protected class). When these types of reasons are behind your termination, then you may have a case for wrongful termination.

What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Wrongful Termination in New York City?

The claim of wrongful termination needs to meet certain criteria to be proven.

  1. Are you a contract employee? One of the first ways to prove wrongful termination is through breach of contract. Are you a contract employee? What are the terms of your contract? Did you violate any of the terms of the contract that could lead to termination? By producing your contract and answering these questions, you may be able to show wrongful termination through breach of contract if your employer fired you for any reason that is not a breach of contract on your part before the term of the employment expired under the contract.
  2. Your employee rights were violated. Your employment rights under the law cannot be violated when you are being terminated. By collecting evidence of your employee rights being violated because you are a member of a protected class, you are pregnant, you refused sexual advances or you reported wrongdoing as a whistleblower or to HR, you can build your case. The evidence can be direct, such as being told that you were fired because of your pregnancy. It can also be shown that an event occurred and then within a close amount of time you were fired.
What Are Examples of Wrongful Termination in New York City?

Wrongful termination is a very specific claim that encompasses several employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the New York Whistleblower Act, breach of contract, and other employee rights laws. Here are some examples of wrongful termination claims:

  • Breach of contract
  • Firing in violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws
  • Firing as a form of sexual harassment
  • Retaliation for refusal of sexual advances
  • Retaliation for reporting wrongdoing to HR or the proper authorities
  • Retaliation for refusing to participate in illegal activities
  • Termination because you are black/American
  • Termination because you are a darker-skinned Asian
  • Termination because you are a woman
  • Termination due to pregnancy
  • Termination once you return from maternity leave
  • Termination for requesting FMLA
  • Termination because of your disability
  • Termination because you are Gay/Lesbian and your boss says it is against his beliefs
  • Terminating an employee for taking off for the Jewish Holidays
  • Terminating an employee over age 40 because of his age
  • Terminating an employee because he is active military
  • Terminating an employee who is legally entitled to work in the US but is not a citizen
  • Terminating an employee who is married to a person of a different race
  • Terminating an employee because his accent is too thick
What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Claim for Wrongful Termination in New York City?

The statute of limitations for wrongful termination in New York City depends on the reason for the lawsuit. If the claim is a breach of contract claim, there are 2 time limits to file a lawsuit. First, if your employment contract specifies a time frame allowed to file a breach of contract lawsuit, the courts will honor that time frame. However, if no such time limit is specified, you have 6 years from the date of the breach (in this case a wrongful termination) to file your lawsuit against the employer.

If the wrongful termination is the result of employment discrimination, the time limit to bring a lawsuit against your employer is 300 days from the date of termination under the laws of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the governing body of Title VII) and New York City’s Human Rights Law.

If you experienced retaliation because of being a whistleblower, the law allows you 1 year to file a claim for wrongful termination in New York City.

Sexual harassment claims of wrongful termination have a time limit of 3 years to file a claim in New York City.

What Are the Remedies Available for Victims of Wrongful Termination?

When you are wrongfully terminated, you are entitled to justice and compensation. The courts will review your case and may provide the following relief:

  • Reinstatement of employment
  • Reinstatement of benefits
  • Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
  • Back pay
  • Future pay
  • Termination or reassignment of person who terminated you
  • Reimbursement of benefit premiums
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
How Long Can a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Last?

A wrongful termination lawsuit can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year or more. One of the main reasons these cases may take less time is because it settles out of court. If an employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement, the case may be over within 4 to 6 months.

However, if the employer wished to take the trial to court, trial preparation alone can take up to a year. This includes gathering evidence, witness interviews, depositions, and more. Then, the trial itself may take another few days to a few weeks to try the case in court and reach a verdict and issue a judgment.

A Few Things You Can Do Right Now

If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important to be proactive. Here are a few things you should do immediately upon being wrongfully terminated:

  1. Contact a wrongful termination attorney in New York City immediately.
  2. Gather evidence to help prove your case. Gather any written or electronic messaged relating to the incident. Make sure you have everything well-documented and well-maintained.
  3. Do not waste time. Time is of the essence to file your claim. Make sure you are gathering details and information and staying mindful of your statute of limitations.
Contact Our Experienced New York City Wrongful Termination Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation

Although New York City is at-will for employment, an employer cannot just fire an employee because of his membership in a protected class or against the terms of his contract. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (212) 587-0760 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.

Contact Our Experienced New York City Wrongful Termination Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation

Although New York City is at-will for employment, an employer cannot just fire an employee because of his membership in a protected class or against the terms of his contract. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (212) 587-0760 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.

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