Many workers don’t dare file complaints about issues such as sexual harassment or racial discrimination because they fear they might face workplace retaliation. The truth is that there are protections in place that prevent employers from retaliating against employees who engage in protected actions. Here’s a look at how that works.
What Exactly is Workplace Retaliation?Workplace retaliation can take many forms. Somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of cases come from managers, but retaliation can also come from a bullying colleague. The basic premise is that any action with an adverse effect on an employee’s work life may be considered retaliation if it comes as a result of a protected action.
All of the following are protected activities under law:
- Reporting workplace discrimination
- Filing for workers’ compensation
- Reporting sexual harassment
- Reporting safety issues
- Reporting fraudulent activities
- Making an unpaid wage claim
If this Happens, You Need an Employment LawyerRegardless of the validity of your filing or complaint, retaliation for these actions is against the law. If this has happened to you, you will not necessarily be able to rely on company management or human resources to resolve the problem. An attorney can show you ways in which your employer broke the law, and help you find justice. Additionally, they can potentially take actions to help protect you from a hostile work environment during the proceedings.
These laws are crucial because they allow employees to report bad behavior and improve work conditions for the entire company. State and federal laws empower you to stand up against injustices without having to endure worse treatment at work. An experienced employment attorney can help you navigate the legal challenges and begin your journey towards justice.