New York, like most states, is an at-will employment state. Meaning that absent a contract stating that a New York employee can only be terminated for just cause and/or other specified reasons, your New York employer can terminate you for any reason or no reason whatsoever with some very limited exceptions. This means, and many clients are surprised by this, that you can work for a New York employer for decades, and your employer can terminate you without giving you any reason at all, or terminate you for an arbitrary and/or invalid reason. The same applies to a New York employee, who resigns and leaves their job / employer. Absent a contract to the contrary, A New York employee may legally quit their job for any reason or no reason whatsoever.
One possible limited exception / exemption in New York to the at-will employment rule of law is an implied contract, where your employer makes promises to you regarding your job security such as a statement in an employee handbook stating that employees will only be terminated for just cause and/or emails or statements by employers ensuring job security. Other exceptions include, but are not limited to, employers terminating employees due to their skin color, race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other discriminatory characteristics protected by applicable city and/or state and/or federal laws.
Some additional reasons New York employers cannot legally terminate employees for include, but are not limited to, retaliation based upon protected whistleblowing opposition / participation in an inspection or investigation, opposing discriminatory employment practices, participating in a discrimination complaint / investigation / adjudication process, opposing unlawful wages your employer is not paying you, cooperating in an unlawful wage investigation, and some other very limited exceptions.
Fortunately, New York employees have some limited protections under the law, but there are still a vast number of irrational, invalid, and unfair reasons your New York employer can legally terminate your at-will employment for.
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The information contained on this website is for general purposes only, and may not be accurate due to changes in the law and/or other reasons. The information contained on this website should not be relied upon and does not constitute legal advice, nor establish an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney and/or the Law Office of William L. Teitler for legal representation / legal advice. Contacting the Law Office of William L. Teitler does not, by itself, establish an attorney-client relationship.
Our law firm represents clients in employment law, personal injury, and other legal matters in New York State and New York City, including Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk County.
Law Office of William L. Teitler
30-30 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: (718) 392-3483
(New York City Employment Law and Personal Injury)
70 E. 55th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10022
(The Law Offices of Steven Mitchell Sack)
(New York City Employment Law Co-Counsel)
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 7 p.m.