Federal and state laws forbid retaliation by employers

Frank S. Clowney III

Employees have very specific rights when it comes to filing complaints about illegal activities that occur within the company. Many individuals who file these reports or cooperate with investigations, both of which are known as protected actions, are concerned that they will have to deal with negative impacts from the company. This is illegal as long as those actions were the result of the protected action.

Retaliatory measures that are forbidden include things like cutting the person’s pay, termination or demotion. Even things like moving an employee to a less desirable shift or location can also be considered retaliation. Carefully evaluating the situation can help you determine whether you’re facing retaliation or not.

The important distinction that must be made here is that the actions of the employer must be in response to the protected action. Employees can’t have poor performance or policy violations and think that they won’t face adverse employment decisions. In these cases, there is a good chance that the employee’s record will be called into the matter.

Keeping records about what’s going on can help you in these cases. You need to be able to show that you were doing your job appropriately so that you can move forward with a claim for retaliation. Things like positive reviews from your supervisors, awards and similar proof might help you to do this.

Retaliation claims can be challenging. You already have enough stress surrounding the issue, so there’s no need to add more to it. Working with someone who is familiar with them might help make the process a bit easier.