It is a violation of federal law for employers to punish employees or job applicants for “asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination, including harassment.” Employees have certain rights under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. When an employer retaliates against an employee for asserting these rights, you may have a case for a complaint or lawsuit for retaliation.
Employees have certain rights in the workplace. These rights are referred to as “protected activities” and employers cannot retaliate against you for taking advantage of your rights. Examples of protected activities include:
- Reporting sexual harassment
- Requesting workplace accommodations for a disability, religious or medical reason
- Refusing to participate in discriminatory behavior
- Filing a complaint with the EEOC or being a witness in one
- Asking co-workers about salary information
These examples are some of the more common forms of protected activity but there are many. If you believe your employer may be retaliating against you, it's in your best interest to contact an employment lawyer to discuss your case.
Examples of Retaliatory Actions
If an employee engages in a protected activity and an employer punishes or harasses the employee for doing so, this can constitute retaliatory action. Examples of retaliatory actions include
- Verbal or physical abuse
- Transferring an employee to a less desirable position or shift
- Threatening to call or actually calling immigration authorities
- Spreading negative, false rumors about the employee
- Giving lower marks on a performance review or evaluation
- Firing the employee
Retaliatory actions can take many forms. If you believe your employer is retaliating against you for a protected activity, contact an employment lawyer to review your claim.
Compensation in Lawsuit for Retaliation
It may be possible to file a lawsuit against your employer for retaliation and recover financial compensation for lost wages, lost benefits and lost job opportunity. You may also be able to recover damages for the mental and emotional anguish the ordeal cost you.
Can you file a lawsuit for retaliation if you quit your job?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit for retaliation if you quit your job. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an employee's resignation may result from a company making an employee’s work conditions intolerable or allowing a hostile environment to exist. This is known as a constructive discharge. However, it can be more difficult to prove your claim, making the need for a skilled employment lawyer even more important.
Legal Help for Retaliation
If you are suffering from workplace harassment or retaliation, an employment attorney may be able to help. Employment attorneys focus on protecting you from retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, wage violations, and more.
The employment attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, bring together our knowledge and insight to construct a strong case for our clients and maximize any future settlements. Thanks to our teamwork and extensive familiarity with both state and federal employment laws, we can take on essentially any employment law case for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.