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

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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