In cases where employees are subjected to harassment and/or discrimination in their place of work, they are entitled to report such illegal happenings and behaviors to their employers. Additionally, employees also have the right to report such activity to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employees that report discrimination have certain legal protections against retaliation from their employers.
Retaliation results when employers unfairly take negative actions against or punish employees for taking part in any protected actions. For instance, filing a complaint or charge with the EEOC, refusing to abide by directives that result in discrimination, requesting salary details from employers, being a witness to any investigations regarding discrimination or even refusing unwanted sexual advances are all issues that may lead to illegal retaliation.
Most Frequently Occurring Types of Employer Retaliation:
While employer retaliation can take place in many different forms, some of the most common include the following:
- Termination of employment;
- Being demoted;
- Being reassigned to an unwanted job or task;
- Having the employee’s shift changed;
- Reducing salary or other employment benefits; and
- Unfairly disciplining the employee.
Although some forms of retaliation may seem completely obvious, in most retaliation situations it can be difficult for employers to notice. For example, when an employee files a complaint regarding their senior manager’s discrimination against a certain race or age of employees, his or her attitude and treatment toward that particular employee may change. In cases where that manager takes on a more professional attitude towards the employee, that would not generally be considered retaliation, even if he or she is not as sociable as before the report.
Nevertheless, if the senior manager’s actions or words lead to an adverse impact on the complaining employee’s job, then it would be considered retaliatory in nature. For instance, if the senior manager terminates the employee’s job because he or she is not a team player after the employee files a complaint regarding unwanted sexual advances, that would be considered retaliation. In many instances of retaliation, it takes place in much more subtle ways, such as unmerited negative performance evaluations, being excluded from significant company meeting or persistent nitpicking on the employee.
From the instant an employee files a complaint regarding harassment or discrimination in the workplace, employers must take the proper precautionary measures:
- Document everything you do to prevent retaliation against the employee making the complaint.
- Complaints received should be kept confidential.
- Ensure that complaining employees know that their claims are being taken seriously.
- Establish company policies against all forms of retaliation.
Let Us Help You Today
All claims of retaliation by employees have to be taken very critically. It is crucial to hire a law firm with attorneys that are experienced handling retaliation cases. One of our West Palm Beach labor & employment attorneys would be delighted to help your business create employment policies against retaliation. Additionally, our accomplished attorneys can defend your business in the event of a retaliation claim or lawsuit.
The dedicated attorneys at Pincus & Currier LLP have built a reputation on being strong and effective representation for employers across the State of Florida and will to defend your business. Call our office today at 561-868-1340 or contact us online or to find out more about how our West Palm Beach employment, & labor lawyers can help your business handle any retaliation claims that may take place.