Several federal laws protect and monitor the employer and employee relationship, specifically for employees and their labor rights. Through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employees have certain rights that protect them from discrimination and harassment. More notably, these laws protect employees from workplace retaliation, where an employee had filed a complaint or a charge against their employer, and their employer responded with a demotion, decreased wages or hours, or fired the employee.
Workplace retaliation is difficult to define, especially because the employer’s retaliation can be vague and possibly unnoticeable at first. The EEOC finds that retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination and can take many forms. Because of this, it is strongly recommended to keep all possible documentation concerning a workplace retaliation and consult an employment lawyer to help you.
Workplace Retaliation Definition
According to the EEOC, an employee has the right to participate in a complaint process against the employer. Workplace retaliation occurs when an employer performs a negative action against an employee who had partaken in a complaint process. These negative actions can include a demotion, reassignment, or lower wages, but can also include other forms of adverse discrimination.
Certain workplace retaliation cases can be easy to decipher. For example, if an employee filed a complaint against their employer, and the employer immediately fired that individual because of that complaint, that would be obvious retaliation. However, in most cases, an employer’s retaliation can be very subtle and not as cut and dry as other illegal activity. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an employee if they participate in other federal employment programs, such as receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits for a workplace injury.
How to Protect Yourself from Workplace Retaliation
It is important to keep in mind that only detrimental actions toward your employment are considered retaliatory. In some cases, an employer’s relationship toward an employee will shift to a more professional attitude if there was a complaint of harassment or discrimination. However, if that employer’s attitude becomes suspicious or negative, then that would be considered retaliation.
It is always best to report any form of discrimination to a supervisor or human resource department if any such activity should occur. Also, if retaliation is indeed suspected, you must state that to your employer, so it is properly handled and documented. Like all forms of workplace discrimination or harassment, it is recommended to report the situation and ask it to be stopped. If any correction does not take place, you can also consider contacting an employment lawyer or the EEOC for further evaluation.
Philadelphia Retaliation Attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Fight for Their Employment Rights
A workplace retaliation situation can be convoluted and confusing. If you are in a situation where your employer has negatively affected your job because you have filed a complaint against them, then you will need help justifying your case of retaliation. Our Philadelphia retaliation attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help you build your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout South Jersey.