Numerous laws protect employees from discriminatory practices in the workplace; as such, an employee that is the victim of discrimination can report the unlawful practices in hopes of resolving the issue without legal intervention. In some instances, however, reporting illegal activity can worsen the situation and ultimately result in adverse employment actions against the victim, which may be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit. In a recent employment discrimination case, a New York court assessed what a plaintiff must plead to set forth a valid retaliation claim. If your employer treated you differently after you reported discrimination or harassment, you may be able to pursue claims against your employer and should speak to a dedicated New York employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible.
Facts of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a firefighter for the defendant city. He alleges that throughout the duration of his employment, he was treated adversely due to his race, sexual orientation, and religion. He filed a complaint with the EEOC in the spring of 2015, after which he alleged the defendant struck back against him by placing him on light duty. He subsequently filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant, alleging numerous causes of action, including retaliation. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted.
Allegations Sufficient to Sustain a Retaliation Claim
Pursuant to the New York State Human Rights Law and Title VII, a plaintiff alleging retaliation must set forth plausible allegations that he or she participated in an activity that is protected under the law and that the defendant knew of the protected acts. The plaintiff must also show that he or she suffered an adverse employment action, such as termination or a reduction in pay or duties, and that the protected activity and the adverse action are causally related.