Wrongful Termination Attorney
What We Do
We defend employers and represent other clients in labor, employment, and employee benefits matters, including, for example, breach of employment contract cases, wage-and-hour lawsuits, employment discrimination actions, retaliatory discharge cases, sexual harassment lawsuits, unfair labor practice proceedings, lawsuits for breach of non-competition or non-solicitation agreements, ERISA actions to recover pension or health benefits, and employee benefit funds’ actions to recover withdrawal liability payments and delinquent ERISA contributions.
Wrongful Termination Lawsuits Under Federal And New York Labor and Employment Laws
In labor and employment litigation in federal courts located in New York and in the New York state courts, some of the federal, state, and city laws concerning wrongful termination which companies often are charged with breaching are as follows. At the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC, we have substantial experience litigating, on behalf of employers and individuals, many of these claims and many others.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.: Forbids public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating in compensation or in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII includes, in its definition of sex discrimination, employment decisions made because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In addition, Title VII prohibits quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment and harassment based on other protected characteristics.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. (the “ADEA”), and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, Pub. L. 101-433, 104 Stat. 978 (the “OWBPA”), incorporated in the ADEA: Prohibit public and private employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against employees 40 years of age or older in compensation, or in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. The OWBPA pronounces that employee benefit plans are covered by the ADEA’s general prohibition against age discrimination. In addition, the OWBPA requires that waivers of possible age discrimination claims be “knowing and voluntary.”
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. (the “ADA”), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 (the “ADAAA”): Forbids all employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against any qualified person with a physical or mental disability who can perform the essential functions of the desired job, with or without reasonable accommodation, on the basis of that disability.
The Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983: Prohibit discrimination in employment based on race and national origin.
Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d): Forbids nearly all employers from discriminating, on the basis of sex, in compensation between employees performing “equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.” The Equal Pay Act allows unequal pay, however, when the disparity results from a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any factor other than sex. The Equal Pay Act is included in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219 (the “FLSA”), which governs employers with two or more employees and at least $500,000 a year in business, establishes employment rules relating to minimum wages, maximum hours, and overtime compensation. Further, the FLSA prohibits an employer from discharging or in any other manner discriminating against any employee for complaining about the employer’s violations of federal minimum wage or overtime pay laws, or for instituting any proceeding relating to such violations.
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733: Bars private employers from firing, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing an employee because the employee investigated for, initiated, testified in, or provided assistance in an action under the False Claims Act. In turn, section 3729 of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, prohibits anyone either from purposely presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the federal government for payment or approval, or from intentionally making or using a false record or statement to get the federal government to pay or approve a false or fraudulent claim. The False Claims Act empowers any person to bring a civil lawsuit, in the name of the United States, for a breach of section 3729 of the False Claims Act.
Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq. (the “FMLA”): Requires employers with 50 or more employees to allow workers to take, and to return to their jobs after taking, as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a close family member who has a serious health condition, for an employee’s own serious health condition, or when a close family member is called to active military service. Further, the FMLA prohibits an employer from firing or in any other manner discriminating against any individual for opposing any practice which violates the FMLA, for filling any charge or instituting any proceeding relating to the FMLA, or for giving any information or testimony in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under the FMLA.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000ff – 2000ff11 (“GINA”): Prohibits all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees from refusing to hire, firing, or otherwise discriminating against any employee in compensation or in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of genetic information with respect to the employee.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 706 et seq., especially 29 U.S.C. § 794 (“Section 504”): Forbids recipients of federal funds from discriminating against any otherwise qualified individual on the basis of his or her disability, and creates a private cause of action.
Section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 1140: Prohibits employers from discharging, fining, suspending, expelling, disciplining, or discriminating against employees for the purpose of interfering with their attainment of rights under an employee benefit (pension or health and welfare) plan.
Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1514A: Forbids a public company and its subsidiaries and affiliates from terminating, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing an employee because the employee reported, to the federal government or to a supervisor, fraud against shareholders or a violation of Securities and Exchange Commission rules.
New York State Laws
New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law §§ 290-301: Forbids employers with four or more employees from discharging from employment or refusing to employ an individual, and from discriminating against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of the person’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or status as a victim of domestic violence.
New York Labor Law §§ 193, 198(1-a) and 215: Section 193 of the New York Labor Law prohibits all private employers from making unlawful deductions from the wages of an employee. Section 198(1-a) of the New York Labor Law authorizes employees to sue employers for violations of N.Y. Labor Law § 193 and permits successful employees to recover the unpaid wages, liquidated damages (for willful violations), and attorneys’ fees. Further, section 215 of the New York Labor Law prohibits an employer and its officers and agents from discharging, threatening, penalizing, or otherwise discriminating against a worker because the worker has complained that the company violated state overtime pay laws, minimum wage laws, or other wage payment laws.
New York State False Claims Act, N.Y. State Finance Law §§ 187-194: Forbids public and private employers from terminating, demoting, suspending, threatening, harassing, or otherwise discriminating against a worker because the worker investigated for, initiated, testified in, or assisted in a lawsuit under the State False Claims Act. In turn, section 189 of the State False Claims Act, N.Y. State Fin. Law § 189, bars any person either from knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the state or a federal government for payment or approval, or from intentionally making or using a false record or statement to get the state or a local government to pay or approve, a false or fraudulent claim. The State False Claims Act allows any individual to bring a civil action, on behalf of New York State or a local government, for a breach of section 189 of the State False Claims Act.
New York Whistleblower Law, N.Y. Labor Law § 740: Prohibits all employers from firing, suspending, demoting, or otherwise retaliating against a worker because the worker has informed or has threatened to inform a supervisor or a public body of an unlawful activity, policy or practice of the employer that creates and causes a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety, or which amounts to health care fraud.
New York City Laws
New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 8-101 – 8-131: Forbids employers with four or more employees from discharging from employment or refusing to hire a person, and from discriminating against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of the person’s actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, handicap, marital status, domestic partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, citizenship status, domestic violence victim status, or status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking.
New York City False Claims Act, N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 7-801 – 7-810: Prohibits private employers from terminating, suspending, demoting, or otherwise retaliating against a worker because the worker investigated for, initiated, testified in, or assisted in a civil enforcement action under the City False Claims Act. In turn, section 7-803 of the City False Claims Act, N.Y. City Admin. Code § 7-803, bars any individual or entity either from knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the City for payment or approval, or from intentionally making or using a false record or statement to get the City to pay or approve a false or fraudulent claim. The City False Claims Act empowers any individual or entity to bring a civil enforcement action against anyone for a breach of section 7-803 of the City False Claims Act. The City False Claims Act expires in June 2012.
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