Morristown, NJ asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York

Q: Can I sue my employer for violating my employee rights and retaliation for my compliant?

I work with an NYC agency. I had applied for a senior position a while back and the rules/ regulations mandated my employer to prefer internal candidates. However, senior staff decided to hire an external candidate, without even considering my case (protected class?). This seriously impacted my career and future prospects at my agency. I found out and asked for fair treatment. It was denied. Even though our HR head, after discussing with Legal, personally apologized to me that I was wronged; the verbal assurances my leadership made were never fulfilled.

When I officially complained, there was retaliation (quality of work, reduction of work scope, unofficial demotion during reorg etc.). As NYC employees, we are assured of certain benefits and expect not to be treated with prejudice and bias. These were certainly violated. I want to know my options, if I can sue my employer for willful misconduct/ wrongdoing and suppression of it as well as retaliation.

Please advise.

1 Lawyer Answer
Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: A violation of your employer's workplace rules/policies regarding internal vs. external hiring - ALONE - does not violate the law. However, if your employer is choosing not to hire you because of your membership in a protected class (i.e., your age, race, ethnicity, gender, etc.), that practice would violate the law. If you complain about your employer's discriminatory hiring, and because of your complaint, your employer takes a materially adverse employment action against you, you may have a claim for unlawful retaliation. More details are necessary to be able to evaluate your specific situation. You should contact an employment law attorney in your area to discuss.

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