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Pennsylvania Employment Law Attorneys Fight for Employees Who Experience Retaliation in the Workplace

June 3rd, 2013

The former chief information officer for Pennsylvania-based ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services Inc., (RP S) has filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully terminated by his former company. The lawsuit alleges that the pharmaceutical research company illegally fired the executive soon after he communicated his plan to take action against the company’s practice of tracking job applicants’ religion, sexual orientation, and other personal details.

The timeline of events began when the executive hired PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC to evaluate the company’s privacy practices. Thereafter, the evaluation returned an alarming discovery that RPS was tracking job applicants’ private information. According to the lawsuit, the executive brought the concerning information to the VP of recruiting and the chief operations officer, but he was told the personal information served a purpose in job placement. The executive rejected warnings to keep the findings quiet and insisted that the company correct the issue in order to comply with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s privacy and personal data collection standards. Consequently, the executive claims this served as the reason for his termination in the following months and thus constitutes retaliation in the workplace despite the company citing “business affairs outside of his employment” as the reason for the firing.

Retaliation in the Workplace Violates both the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and Title VII

Retaliatory practices by an employer, or punishing an employee for voicing concerns, are illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the provisions of the law, retaliation occurs when unwarranted negative employer-action is taken against employees for engaging in legally protected activity. An example of retaliation in the workplace that is illegal under Title VII is the case of an employee having their job duties lessened due to the employee filing a sexual harassment claim to the HR department in the months prior.  A rule of thumb in determining whether a scenario qualifies as illegal retaliation is to consider if the employer’s adverse action would deter a reasonable person in the situation from making a complaint.

In addition, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) is a state law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee because they complained about illegal discrimination or assisted in investigations of such complaints. An example of how the PHRA works is shown in the case of a company’s HR representative interviewing an employee about a colleague’s complaint of gender discrimination. In the weeks following the interview, the employee is fired after the employer learns that the employee confirmed some of the colleague’s allegations. This constitutes retaliation in the workplace and violates both the PHRA and Title VII.

Call the Philadelphia Workplace Retaliation Attorneys of Sidney L. Gold & Associations to Protect Your Rights

The Pennsylvania employment law firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates in Philadelphia has long advocated for the fair treatment of workers, especially those that have been victims of retaliation in the workplace following their effort to voice concerns or aid in investigations of illegal discrimination. Employer retaliation comes in various forms such as termination, demotion, change in job duties and unjustified negative evaluations. If you have experienced any type of employer retaliation, call us today to speak with a knowledgeable, experienced employment retaliation attorney.  We will review the evidence in your case and advise you on how to proceed to get the compensation you deserve. The workplace retaliation lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have offices in center city Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online.

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