Do You Need a Retaliation Attorney for a Problem in the Workplace?

Employees often fear retaliation if they complain about harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Employment discrimination laws makes these acts illegal when it comes to protected groups, yet they also protect any employee who files a complaint under these laws. Although this protection has been put into place, if you feel you are a victim of harassment or discrimination, you may wish to consult with a retaliation attorney. A retaliation attorney reviews the case to see if it has merit and advises you on how to proceed.

Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken in the workplace against an employee who has complained about a violation of workplace law, including harassment or discrimination. In addition, the definition covers any adverse action taken against employees who choose to participate in an investigation of a complaint. The adverse action may be the action of an employer, supervisor, manager or coworker. Common examples of adverse actions include negative evaluations, demotions, changes in shifts or job duties, firing and disciplinary action.

An employer must take appropriate action when a complaint is made and the action must be directed toward the employee being complained about, not the accuser. For example, an employer cannot change a victim’s work hours, place of employment or job duties to minimize contact between the victim and the employee being complained about. The actions taken by the employer must be directed as the person against whom the complaint was lodged or it could be considered retaliatory behavior. A removal of the victim from the situation doesn’t qualify as appropriate action.

Employees may try to take this too far though, which is where the attorney can be of great assistance. A negative evaluation by an employer doesn’t necessarily constitute retaliatory behavior, especially if the review can be justified by the employer. An employee who has been fired for sexual harassment of coworkers won’t have a case and neither will an employee who has been disciplined for habitual tardiness. Employers may be required to show justifications for the actions taken, but if the employer can, you won’t have a case. Discuss your situation with an attorney to see if you should proceed and what steps should be taken in this situation.

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