The state of New York is an at-will state. This leads to job termination with or without reason on the part of the employer. In many cases there is nothing that can be done, even when the termination was unfair and unnecessary. Fortunately, there are certain exceptions to the law of at-will employment. For you to have the right to receive indemnity, your employer must have violated one of the following laws.
- Federal Law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and New York State Law
This law holds employers with 4 or more employees responsible for discrimination (federal law requires 15 employees). The categories protected under this law in the state of New York are race, color, gender, age, religion, physical condition such as pregnancy and childbirth, marital status, sexual orientation, political activities, and observation of Sabbath, among other things. If you fall within one of the categories mentioned above and you were fired as an act of discrimination or because of belonging to one of these categories, you have the right to receive indemnity for employment termination.
- State Laws Authorizing the Receipt of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Workers’ Compensation Bureau handles cases of employees who are entitled to receive payments from workers’ compensation insurance. If you suffered a work accident, you are entitled to receive benefits such as 80% of your weekly pay until you recover and the necessary medical treatment to recover. If your employer threatens you or does not allow you to fill out the application to receive these benefits, or fires you for exercising your rights, he or she is in violation of state law. In this case, you are entitled to indemnity for wrongful termination of employment.
- State Laws that Permit You to Take Time Off Work
There are several laws that give workers the right to take time off. Among these laws are: 1) Medical Condition or Family Absence, 2) Military Absence, 3) Jury Duty, 4) Vacation, and others. If you qualify for one of these types of leave and your employer refuses to grant it and threatens you with dismissal or fires you for exercising your rights, you can bring an action against your employer.
- Laws Based on Public Policy
Employers are also subject to laws designed for the benefit of society. Employers cannot fire workers who report violations such as 1) unsafe workplace, 2) illegal disposal of chemicals or toxic products, 3) violation of safety measures, 4) obligating employees to commit illegal actions. If an informant notifies the appropriate authorities, for the wellbeing of society, you are protected by law and authorized to sue your employer if you were fired as a result of the report.
Other Necessary Requirements for Receiving Employment Termination Indemnity
Not only is it necessary for your employer to have violated one of the laws mentioned above; but it is also necessary to document the events leading to your dismissal. You must have exhausted the appeal process required by the human resources department and have given opportunity to your employer to correct their behavior. Furthermore, you must act quickly before the statute of limitations expires. Lastly, you should find a group of competent lawyers who are specialists in this type of case to take a case to court.