Retaliatory action by employers is a serious issue that all employees should be aware of. It can have a major impact on the working environment, morale and even the long-term prospects of an employee’s career. Fortunately, New York Labor Law 740 [NYLL 740] is in place to protect employees from this type of employer behavior. In this blog post, we will be demystifying NYLL 740 and discussing how it works to protect employees from retaliatory action.
Overview of NYLL 740 and its Purpose
NYLL 740, is a crucial piece of legislation that protects employees [including former employees, interns, or independent contractors] from retaliatory actions by their employers. The purpose of NYLL 740 is to create a safe and fair working environment for all employees by prohibiting employers from engaging in retaliatory behavior.
Retaliatory actions by employers [including supervisors or other parties with similar authority] can take many forms, including termination, demotion, reduction in pay, or even harassment. These actions are illegal under NYLL 740 and can have serious consequences for employers who engage in such behavior.
The law specifically protects employees who report illegal activities or violations of public policy to a public body, as well as those who refuse to participate in illegal activities that could potentially harm public safety. This means that if an employee witnesses or is asked to participate in illegal activities that could put the public at risk, they have the right to report it without fear of retaliation.
Under NYLL 740, employers are prohibited from taking any adverse actions against employees for engaging in protected activities. This includes actions such as terminating or demoting an employee, reducing their pay, or creating a hostile work environment in retaliation for their protected actions.
Employers who violate NYLL 740 can face serious consequences, including fines and potential legal action.
Protected Activities under NYLL 740
NYLL 740 protects employees from retaliatory action when they disclose, threaten to disclose, provide information to, or testify before a public body about an activity, policy, or practice of their employer that they reasonably believe is in violation of law, rule, or regulation, or poses a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety. This means that employees have the right to speak up about illegal or unsafe practices without fear of retaliation.
However, it is important to note that the protection against retaliatory action does not apply to disclosures made to a public body unless the employee has made a good faith effort to notify their employer by bringing the activity, policy, or practice to the attention of a supervisor and has given the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct it.
There are exceptions to the notification requirement in certain situations. For example, if there is an imminent and serious danger to public health or safety, or if reporting to the supervisor would lead to the destruction of evidence or other concealment of the activity, policy, or practice. Other exceptions include cases where the activity, policy, or practice could reasonably be expected to lead to endangering the welfare of a minor, or if reporting to the supervisor would result in physical harm to the employee or any other person. Additionally, if the supervisor is already aware of the activity, policy, or practice and will not correct it, the notification requirement is not necessary.
Examples of Retaliatory Actions
Retaliatory actions by employers can take many different forms, each with the potential to significantly impact an employee’s career and well-being. Here are a few examples of retaliatory actions that employees should be aware of:
1. Termination: One of the most severe forms of retaliation is when an employer terminates an employee in response to their protected activities. For instance, if an employee reports workplace safety violations to a public body and is subsequently fired, it would be considered retaliatory termination under NYLL 740.
2. Demotion: Another common retaliatory action is demotion. If an employee exercises their rights under NYLL 740, such as reporting illegal activities, and is then demoted as a result, it is a clear case of retaliation.
3. Pay Reduction: Employers may also try to retaliate by reducing an employee’s pay after they engage in protected activities. For example, if an employee refuses to participate in an illegal scheme and as a result, their salary is lowered, it would be considered retaliation.
4. Harassment: Retaliation can also manifest as workplace harassment. Employers may create a hostile work environment or subject employees to discriminatory treatment in response to their protected activities.
5. Negative Performance Reviews: Retaliatory actions can also come in the form of negative performance reviews. If an employee has engaged in protected activities and then receives a negative performance review that does not accurately reflect their job performance, it could be considered retaliation.
These retaliatory actions can have significant implications for an employee’s career advancement opportunities including irreparable damage to their professional and personal reputation. Employers may use these tactics as a way to discourage employees from engaging in protected activities, creating a chilling effect on their willingness to speak up against any wrongdoing.
Consequences for Employers who Violate NYLL 740
Employers who violate NYLL 740, can face serious consequences for their actions. The law is in place to protect employees from retaliatory actions and ensure a safe and fair working environment.
When employers violate NYLL 740, they may be subject to fines and potential legal action. The severity of the consequences will depend on the specific circumstances of the violation. However, it is important to note that these consequences are designed to hold employers accountable and deter them from engaging in retaliatory behavior in the future.
Fines can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the violation and the number of employees affected. In addition to fines, employers may also be required to provide restitution to the employee who was retaliated against. This can include reinstatement to their previous position, compensation for lost wages or benefits, and any other damages resulting from the retaliation. In some cases, employers may also face legal action from the employee or other affected parties. This can include lawsuits for wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment, among other legal claims. Employers found liable for violating NYLL 740 may be required to pay damages to the employee and potentially face further legal consequences.
How to Prove a Violation of NYLL 740
Proving a violation of NYLL 740 requires gathering evidence to support your legal claims. To prove a violation, you will need to establish the following elements:
1. Engagement in protected activity: Begin by demonstrating that you engaged in a protected activity under NYLL 740. This could include reporting illegal activities or violations of public policy to a public body or refusing to participate in illegal activities that could potentially harm public safety.
2. Adverse action by the employer: Show that your employer took retaliatory actions against you as a result of your protected activity. This could include termination, demotion, reduction in pay, or creating a hostile work environment.
3. Causal connection: Establish a causal connection between your protected activity and the retaliatory action taken by your employer. This can be done by providing evidence that shows the timing of the retaliatory action in response to the protected activity.
4. Supporting evidence: Gather any relevant evidence that supports your legal claims, such as emails, documents, witness statements, performance evaluations, or any other documentation that can help prove the legal claims.
5. Legal representation: Consider seeking legal representation from an experienced labor and employment or civil rights lawyer who can guide you through the process and help gather the necessary evidence to prove your case.
The Role of Attorneys in NYLL 740 Retaliation Claims
When facing a retaliation claim under NYLL 740, it is essential to seek the assistance of an experienced labor and employment or civil rights lawyer. Lawyers play a crucial role in navigating the complexities of retaliation claims and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
An experienced labor and employment or civil rights lawyer handling legal claims under NYLL 740 will provide valuable guidance and support at every step. They will begin by assessing the strength of your case, gathering evidence, and building a strong legal strategy. This may involve conducting thorough investigations, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing relevant documents.
Additionally, the attorney will help you understand your rights under NYLL 740 and ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines and requirements. They will guide you through the legal process, including filing the appropriate legal documents, representing you in negotiations or settlement discussions, and advocating for your rights in court if necessary.
Moreover, an experienced labor and employment or civil rights lawyer understands the potential nuances of NYLL 740 and how it may intersect with other relevant laws and regulations.
At The Sanders Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to providing legal representation for retaliation claims under NYLL 740. Our commitment to diversity and inclusivity means that we are ready to assist individuals from all walks of life with their retaliation claims. Don’t hesitate to contact The Sanders Firm, P.C. for a FREE consultation.