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New York City Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Has Your Employer Fired You for an Illegal Reason? We Can Help You Seek Compensation!

Nobody likes getting fired. Even if you were unhappy at your job and thinking about quitting, a “termination” of your employment is always a jarring experience. In many cases you may justly feel that your employer acted rashly and improperly.

Unfortunately, most employment is at-will in New York, so employers can–and often do–fire people without good cause. But there are limits to an employer’s discretion. Federal, New York State, and New York City laws protect employees from termination in certain cases, most of them related to discrimination against members of protected classes.

So if you have reason to believe that your firing was illegal, the New York City wrongful termination lawyers at Carey & Associates, P.C., can help you in taking action. We represent workers throughout the five boroughs who have been fired for illegal reasons. Our team can help you in building your case, presenting it to the agencies charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws, and if necessary filing a lawsuit on your behalf against your former employer.

When Is It Illegal to Fire an Employee in New York City?

Again, it is important to understand that while your firing may have been “unfair,” that alone does not make it illegal. Say your boss fired you because they wanted to give your job to a family member. That is probably a bad reason. But it does not, by itself, give you legal grounds to sue for wrongful termination.

On the other hand, if you are a Black person and your boss fired you because they told you that a white person should hold your job, that would be a case of illegal employment discrimination. You would then have grounds to pursue a case for wrongful termination.

Indeed, most cases of wrongful termination involve some form of illegal employment discrimination. And New York City has some of the strongest discrimination protections in the country. This means you cannot be fired based on any of the following:

  • race, national origin, or color;
  • sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation;
  • marital or partnership status;
  • pregnancy or the need for lactation accommodations;
  • status as an active or retired member of the armed forces;
  • national origin, immigration or citizenship status;
  • disability or need for accommodations for a disability; and
  • age.

Not only is it illegal for an employer to fire you because you are a member of a protected class. It is also illegal to fire an employee due to past complaints of discrimination. For example, if you go to your boss complaining about sexual harassment, it is against the law for your boss to respond by firing you. That is illegal retaliation and can independently form the basis of a wrongful termination claim.

Beyond discrimination, some other possible grounds for filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in New York City include:

  • whistleblowing, i.e., disclosing or threatening to disclose illegal acts by your employer to a supervisor or a government agency;
  • participating in social or political activities on your own time;
  • participating in unionizing or engaging in any form of collective labor action with other employees;
  • filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits;
  • taking leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or sick leave under New York City law;
  • performing jury duty; or
  • violation of a signed employment contract between you and the employer.

How Can You Respond to Wrongful Termination?

If your wrongful termination claim is based on employment discrimination, you may need to file a formal charge with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights. These agencies will then either pursue a claim against the employer on your behalf or issue you a “right to sue” letter so you can take direct legal action. In other cases, such as those based on a breach of contract, you typically do not need to go through the administrative process before filing a lawsuit.

Many times, an employer will settle a wrongful termination claim rather than risk a jury verdict. But whether your case is resolved through settlement or negotiation, the types of damages you can seek are the same. Damages for wrongful termination in New York City may include your lost earnings and benefits, the costs you incurred while looking for a new job, and even compensation for the emotional stress that you had to endure. In some cases, you may even be able to seek reinstatement to your job. Every case is unique, however, so it is important to consult a qualified New York City wrongful termination lawyer as soon as possible. Call Carey & Associates, P.C., at (914) 705-5427 today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Client Testimonials

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Mark and his team at Carey & Associates are incredibly knowledgeable about Employment Law and have walked me through every step of the way. Their approach and guidance has been extremely effective in dealing with my case. They instill a sense of confidence by laying out the facts, caselaw, and risk assessment to help make well informed decisions. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an Employment Attorney.


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