Retaliation in The Workplace

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Retaliation in the Workplace

If you complain to your employer about discrimination, harassment or other violations of your rights in the workplace, your employer may not properly take any action against you that you might view as punishment or retaliation for the complaint. The law also protects an employee who participates in an investigation or files a lawsuit against an employer for discrimination, harassment, or other workplace violations.

If you have a genuine and reasonable basis to believe that your complaints are legitimate and meritorious, even if they turn out to be unfounded, your employer violates the law if, as a result of your complaint, he or she takes actions against you that negatively or adversely affect your employment.

Adverse actions include, but are not limited to discipline, negative evaluations, issuance of warnings, salary reduction, demotion, discipline, firing, change in shift assignment, or change in job assignment. Retaliation may also include hostile attitudes or behavior by employers, including managers, supervisors, human resources representatives, or coworkers, toward an employee who complained.

A few examples of retaliatory behavior include but are not limited to:

  • Your employer learned that you are participating in an investigation of a sexual harassment allegation against him, and shortly thereafter, gives you an unusually negative evaluation even though your performance has remained continuously effective.
  • You file a discrimination complaint against your supervisor with the human resources representative in your company. You are fired soon afterwards because of "performance issues" although your performance was never an issue before you made your complaints.
The law encourages employees to assert their employment rights when they genuinely believe their rights are being violated, and the law prohibits employers from penalizing you for doing so. If you believe your employer is retaliating against you for complaining about their workplace violations, you may wish to speak to an attorney about the best manner in which to proceed. We at Schwartz & Perry will be pleased to discuss your concerns with you. There is no charge for our initial interview, in which we will be able to determine whether we believe we will be able to help you and whether you wish to invite us to do so.

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