Retaliation In The Workplace: Know Your Rights
August 30, 2019
In the United States, employees are protected by a series of laws that makes unfair targeting, retaliation, and other actions illegal and punishable through monetary damages. If you are being unfairly harassed or retaliated against by your employer, you are entitled to compensation. Here is a short guide to employee protection laws and what to do if they are broken.
Laws protecting workers exist on both the state and national level. The Equal Employment Opportunity statute is a federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on race, sex, age, color, national origin, genetic profile, or disabilities. Other federal laws forbid employers from retaliating against their workers for reporting illegal conduct like workplace safety laws (OSHA), wage and break requirements, family leave, and whistleblowing. On the state level, Pennsylvania has passed the Human Relations Act that prohibits retaliatory behaviors.
What Is Retaliation?
There are certain actions that by law employees can take without fear of being fired or harassed. These are known as protected activities. If an employee notes illegal behavior by their employers and objects to it, they are legally protected from reprisal. These are known as adverse actions. An adverse action can be a number of things, including termination, demotions, pay cuts without reason, denial of benefits, transfers, and any other activity designed to punish or intimidate the person.
Anti-retaliation laws are important to help employees speak up about unlawful or discriminatory behavior without fearing for their jobs and livelihood. To help ensure this, the federal EEO statute also protects employees even if the employer is ultimately found innocent of the accusations. As long as the complaint is reasonable, an employee is still protected under the law. If a company keeps record of an employee’s complaints just to use it against them in future job references or job interviews, federal law considers this also to be retaliatory behavior and the employee would be entitled to compensation.
I Think I Have A Claim, What Should I Do?
If you feel like you have been the target of illegal retaliation from a current or former employer, you need to contact an experienced attorney. Your employer will likely have more resources and probably even lawyers on staff, which can make a claim seem like an impossible mountain to climb. But an experienced employment attorney can help you level the playing field and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact An Employment Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today!
Were you the victim of harassment or retaliation in the workplace? You have rights, and deserve legal protection and compensation from your employer. Right now, you need an advocate on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Quinn Logue represent clients in employment matters throughout Pennsylvania. Call 412-765-3800 or fill out our online contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation on your case. We have an office conveniently located in The Waterfront Building at 200 First Ave., 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222-1512, as well as an office in Scranton at 201 Lackawanna Ave., Suite 325, Scranton, PA 18503.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.