One of the many problems with sexual harassment, unsafe work environments, or any other employment law issue is that if you complain, you could also be a victim of workplace retaliation. Workplace retaliation is like the cherry on top of an exceptionally bad sundae. Here are a few story examples of what workplace retaliation may look like.
The Story of Fred Oldham
Fred is a friendly and well-liked employee. Fred has worked at the same company for more than 20 years and has never received a poor review. He is continually passed up for promotion opportunities by much younger applicants. Eventually, he decides he’s tired of being a victim of age discrimination and makes a complaint. Soon after that, he is fired.
Now, Fred may be able to sue the company for workplace discrimination, as well as workplace retaliation. Filing a complaint for discrimination is a protected act, meaning Fred can’t be punished for making it.
EEOC v. Zoria Foods, Inc.
Two male supervisors at Z Foods, Inc. were accused of repeatedly harassing four different female employees. The alleged harassment included unwanted touching, leering, and asking for sexual favors. Witnesses within the company filed complaints against the supervisors. Those witnesses were subsequently fired for their trouble.
This real-life case highlights the worst of workplace retaliation, and shows that anyone can fall victim. The company was ordered to pay the maximum penalties allowable for its failure to protect employees.
What Can I Do About Workplace Retaliation?If an employer wrongfully fires you, demotes you, excludes you from meetings, cuts your hours, gives you poor performance reviews, or takes any other negative action against you, file a complaint. Employers are prohibited from punishing employees for taking part in any protected actions.
You have a right to be treated fairly and lawfully at work. Dallas employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson successfully helped countless people fight back against employers who try to take away that right.