Retaliation Claims and You
Who wants to spend a majority of their time at an office where they don’t feel welcomed or comfortable? For many, this hostile work environment is retaliation for their complaints about issues in their work environment.
Retaliation against you by your employer for speaking up about issues in the workplace is illegal. If you’re facing retaliation at your workplace, keep reading to understand your rights and take proper action to protect yourself and your job.
What is and isn’t Retaliation?
Before contacting a lawyer, it is important to determine what you’re going through is actually retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employer effectively punishes an employee for pursuing a legal protected action, like making a complaint. This punishment may include a drop in salary, demotion, or termination.
Simply being rude to you after you file a complaint is not an example of retaliation. The action against you has to affect your employment to be considered retaliation. An easy rule of thumb is that if a reasonable, typical employee would be discouraged from making a complaint after receiving the treatment you received, it is retaliation.
Reasons for Retaliation
There are a variety of reasons why an employer may choose to retaliate against an employee. These may be a result of actions an employee took, such as filing a complaint, making a worker’s compensation complaint, or refusing to perform an illegal or prohibited activity.
You may also choose to file a complaint based on discrimination you were subject to based on any of the identities that you hold. These identities may include age, race, gender, national origin or disability. You have a right to make a complaint if you’re getting discriminated against based on any of these factors, and your employer treating you poorly because of your choice to make a complaint is retaliation.
What to Do
If you find that you are a victim of retaliation at your workplace, there are a few steps that you can take:
- Speak with Human Resources
Make sure to speak with your company’s human resource director and voice your concerns as well as ask questions to get to the bottom of the situation. Point out that the treatment occurred after you chose to make a complaint.
If your employer does not take any steps to change their behavior, proceed with the next step.
- Contact a Lawyer
Many lawyers, like The Melton Law Firm, specialize in retaliation claims. Lawyers will be able to create the best case as possible for you to win your retaliation claim and put an end to any of the behavior you’ve received. Your employer likely will have connections to a powerful attorney to represent them — don’t try to represent yourself. Count on the expertise and knowledge of an attorney who has dealt with retaliation claims for years.
Hopefully, you are never subject to retaliation at your workplace. In the case that retaliation does happen, I hope these tips help you out and yield a quick end to any retaliation you may be receiving.