Can I get my job back ifI was fired due to retaliation?

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Can I get my job back ifI was fired due to retaliation?

I was fired by my general manager for sending a letter to corporate regarding workers who punched out for break then returned to work while off the clock. This was due to the demands and stress of the workload placed upon everyone. I also mentioned how the morale was low and that he told us to fake a corporate survey to make him look good.

Asked on March 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may well not be able to get your job back in this situation. An employee may not be fired in retaliation for bringing certain protected claims, such an employment discrimination claim (on the basis of race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, etc.) or a wage and hour claim (e.g. not being paid overtime). However, if you don't have an employment contract to the contrary, you are an employee at will; employees at will may be fired at any time, for any reason; and that includes for complaining abour morale or other workers' behavior. Unless it is specifically protected, you may be fired in retaliation for doing it.

Since, however, some of what you were complaining about touches on protected type of claim (e.g. wage and hour; workers need to be paid for all hours worked), it *may* be that this was improper termination (the situation would be much stronger if you were complaining about how *you* were being forced to work off the clock, rather than discussing other workers). It would be worth you consulting with an employment attorney to evaluate and analyze the situation in depth--though be prepared that this may be a situation where you do not have recourse.


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