Protecting Those Who Have Been Fired for Complaining of Discrimination or Harassment
Individuals who report discrimination or harassment by their employers are often punished by their employers by demotion, reduction in pay or hours, or even termination. State and federal law protects employees who report, oppose or resist discrimination or harassment from retaliation in the workplace.
Do I Have a Retaliation Claim?
Under state and federal laws, employees cannot be fired or otherwise punished for engaging in protected conduct such as:
- Reporting harassment
- Reporting discrimination
- Refusing to engage in illegal activity
If an employer fires, disciplines or otherwise punishes an employee for engaging in protected conduct, it is illegal, giving the employee the right to file a retaliation claim.
We have represented many employees who have suffered retaliation, including those who have been terminated for reporting sexual harassers, complaining about discrimination based on their age, gender or disability, and seeking medical accommodations like pregnancy, carpal tunnel, and ADHD.
What Are the Signs of Employer Retaliation?
In some cases, employment retaliation is very clear such as when an employer discharges an employee immediately after filing a sexual harassment claim. In other cases, however, it is not so clear, and can include subtler activities such as:
- Less desirable working conditions (e.g., increased workload or undesirable job location)
- Unwarranted and new monitoring or micromanaging
- Exclusion from meetings
- Denial of training
- Negative performance reviews
- Reductions in pay
- Denial of raises or promotions