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Work with experienced legal counsel in pursuing retaliation claims

We’ve been looking in our last couple posts at the former Google engineer fired after publishing his memo criticizing the company’s diversity policy. In particular, we’ve been looking at the potential strength of a retaliation claim in his case, noting the differences in causation standards under federal and state law.

Under New York State Labor Law, it is illegal for employers to discharge, punish, discriminate against or retaliate against employees for engaging in protected activity. This includes filing complaints about labor law violations with the employer or the Labor Department, providing information to the Labor Department, testifying in an investigation or proceeding under New York Labor Law, or exercising any rights under the law. 

Employees who have been subjected to employer retaliation may file a private civil action within two years of the retaliation occurring. Whether an individual brings a retaliation claim under New York Labor Law, other New York employment law, or federal law, though, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to firmly establish the elements of retaliation in the case.

Of particularly importance is to work with experienced legal counsel to build a sound case around the damages sought. Damages available in retaliation cases depend on the law under which the claim is pursued. Getting the full protection of the law requires working with an attorney who not only understands the legal protections available to the plaintiff, but knowing how to effectively advocate for the plaintiff in court.


New York Department of Labor, Retaliation Against Employees Prohibited, Accessed August 31, 2017.

New York Labor Law, Section 215. 

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