Under both federal and state statutes, employers are prohibited from taking adverse employment actions against employees on the basis of several protected class designations. To ensure the effectiveness of these protections, employees who lawfully report harassment, discrimination or otherwise engage in other protected activity cannot be penalized for their actions. The following is a non-exhaustive list of other circumstances that may prompt your employer to retaliate against you:
- You filed or attempted to file a worker’s compensation claim;
- You took leave for a disability, family emergency or pregnancy;
- You reported the illegal conduct of your employer, such as the failure to pay overtime or grant meal or rest breaks;
- You complained of racial discrimination or harassment occurring in the workplace;
- You testified in support of a co-worker’s complaint of discrimination or harassment;
- You cooperated in an investigation conducted by state or federal authorities into the affairs of your current (or former) employer.
Employers may not fire or penalize employees for exercising their rights under federal or state law. Termination is just one form of retaliation. Other examples include, without limitation, a demotion, wage and hour issues, relocation to an undesirable workplace, denial of training or opportunity for advancement, and a hostile work environment. Under the law, retaliation is anything that changes the terms and conditions of your employment. There is a limited time period within which to assert a claim based on retaliation. Certain procedures must also be followed depending on the type of case and harm allegedly suffered. Please contact The Gillam Law Firm so that our experienced attorneys can carefully evaluate your case, and protect your rights under the law.