The NYSHRL would not mean anything if an employer could terminate an employee who protested discrimination in the workplace. Consequently, the NYSHRL prohibits an employer from discharging, or discriminating against, an employee who opposes a discriminatory practice. This includes an internal complaint of discrimination or assistance in a claim of discrimination by another employee. This includes filing a complaint of discrimination, testifying in a proceeding, or assisting in a proceeding concerning discrimination. To be considered “protected activity,” the opposition or complaint must involve a category of discrimination under the NYSHRL – sex, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, age, marital status, domestic violent victim status, predisposing genetic characteristics, prior arrest or conviction record, or familial status.
The NYSHRL allows an employee to file a charge of discrimination if that employee was retaliated against by an employer. Many times, an employer receives a charge of discrimination based on some other category and then fires, or takes an adverse action, against the employee. This constitutes retaliation. The employee may then file a charge of retaliation at the NYSDHR.