Syracuse Wrongful Termination Attorney

When you work hard each day to support yourself and your loved ones, we should never have to worry about it being terminated for any illegal reason. Unfortunately, there are times when people lose their jobs because they have been discriminated against or retaliated against in the workplace. At Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC, we are here to help when you need a Syracuse wrongful termination attorney. We will conduct a full investigation into your claim and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to.

Why Choose Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC For Your Case

If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, turn to a Syracuse employment attorney with extensive experience handling these cases. Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC is ready to stand by your side.

  • We focus on building relationships with our clients to ensure that each case gets the personalized attention it deserves.
  • We have more than five decades of combined legal experience handling employment law cases.
  • We take all Syracuse wrongful termination cases on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients pay no legal fees until after we secure the compensation they deserve.

How Will A Syracuse Wrongful Termination Attorney Help This Case?

Wrongfully terminated employees often face an uphill battle when working to prove their case. However, a Syracuse wrongful termination attorney will be able to conduct a full investigation into these cases. An attorney will obtain all evidence necessary to prove the reason for the termination and will be able to move forward with negotiations to recover fair compensation for the wrongful termination.

What Qualifies As Wrongful Termination?

Employers in New York can generally hire and fire employees “at-will” for whatever reason they deem appropriate. However, there are various reasons that make a termination illegal.

Both New York and federal law prohibit most types of discrimination in the workplace. If an employee is terminated based on any of the following, then the termination is illegal:

  • Race/Color
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Genetic Information
  • Harassment
  • National Origin
  • Pregnancy status
  • Sex/Gender
  • Sexual orientation

In some cases, an employee is terminated due to retaliation for reporting instances of discrimination or sexual harassment on the job or for reporting illegal or fraudulent activity on the part of the employer. There are also times when employees are terminated for participating in allowable time off allowed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or New York paid family leave laws.

Wrongful termination can also occur when an employer fails to follow their own written organizational policies concerning disciplinary actions or termination decisions. Not every employer is required to have these policies in place, but when they do, they constitute contracts between the employee and the employer.

What Kind Of Compensation Will You Receive?

If you have been wrongfully terminated from your position due to discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC, we pledge to conduct a full investigation into your claims so we can secure the compensation you need. This can include:

  • Recovery any lost wages and benefits
  • Reinstatement to your job if necessary or desired
  • Your court costs and legal fees
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Possible punitive damages against your employer

Could I Get My Job Back After Wrongful Termination?

In a wrongful termination lawsuit, you can recover damages for several losses, including lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, legal fees, and punitive damages. In some cases, the court may order the employer to reinstate you to your original position. However, you do not need to accept this offer if you do not want to return to your first position. Many employees feel uncomfortable returning to their old workplaces after a wrongful termination.

It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for engaging in a legally protected activity, such as filing a lawsuit. If you do experience retaliation after returning to work, save all evidence of the wrongful action and speak with your attorney as soon as possible.

What Is At-Will Employment in New York?

New York is an at-will employment state, which means most employers can fire an employee at any time for any reason. In many situations, the employer may fire an employee for no reason at all. If an employee is a member of a union, he or she may be exempt from at-will termination. Many union contracts include clauses that specify the reasons why an employer may terminate an employee.

Although a termination may feel unfair or unethical, it does not automatically rise to the level of wrongful termination. A termination is unlawful if it involves discrimination on the basis of a protected category, retaliation, or a breach of contract, such as a violation of union terms. If you are unsure whether your termination qualifies as wrongful, contact an attorney at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC as soon as possible.

Wrongful Termination Statute of Limitations

Under New York law, you only have a certain amount of time to file a wrongful termination claim. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, varies based on the type of claim you want to file. If you do not file your claim by the time the statute of limitations passes, the court will likely dismiss your claim.

  • If you wish to file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you have 300 days from the date of the wrongful termination to file if you had a work-sharing agreement. If there is no work-sharing agreement, you have 180 days to file.
  • If you wish to file a charge of discrimination with the New York State Division of Human Rights or the New York City Commission on Human Rights, you have one year to file your claim. If your claim involves sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, you have three years.
  • If you wish to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit in New York civil court, you have three years after the date of the termination to file.

Settlements and Severance Packages

Through a wrongful termination lawsuit, you can recover compensation for lost wages, past benefits, emotional distress, and punitive damages. You can also recover compensation to pay for your legal fees and court costs. However, accepting a severance package could prevent you from recovering this compensation.

Your employer may ask you to sign a severance agreement after informing you of the termination. This document may include provisions that may prevent you from seeking legal action against the employer in exchange for severance pay. Before signing this document, speak to an attorney at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC. Our attorneys can help you negotiate this document and determine your optimal legal options.

However, severance agreements cannot legally prevent an employee from pursuing a discrimination claim. If you believe your employer terminated your position based on your race, sex, age, disability, or another legally protected trait, you can still pursue an EEOC or New York state human rights claim.

Call An Experienced Syracuse Wrongful Termination Lawyer

When you need a Syracuse wrongful termination attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation online or by calling (315) 314-8000.