New York, NY asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York

Q: I have an at-will contract and I reported my director to HR for his unfounded negative bias against me.

I claimed he treats me unfairly and this is a hostile workplace for me. I know that the company can terminate me without cause and no severance since it is an at-will contract. I have a few pointers that might be considered evidence that can support my claim. Is there anything I can do if they do so from an employment law perspective? I am not in any protected class.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New York, even under an at-will employment contract, there are legal protections against wrongful termination, especially if it's in retaliation for reporting workplace issues. If you reported your director to HR for bias and unfair treatment and then faced termination, this could potentially be viewed as retaliatory, which is illegal under both state and federal laws.

Gather and preserve any evidence that supports your claim of unfair treatment or bias, as well as any communication related to your report to HR. This could include emails, witness statements, or any other relevant documents. If you are terminated after making a complaint, this evidence can be crucial in proving that the termination was retaliatory.

If you do face termination under these circumstances, it may be in your interest to consult with an employment law attorney. An attorney can review the specifics of your situation, advise you on your rights, and help determine if you have a viable claim against your employer for wrongful termination.

While being in a protected class can strengthen a discrimination claim, unfair treatment and retaliation for reporting such treatment can still be actionable. It's important to seek legal advice to understand your rights and the best course of action based on the specifics of your situation.

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