There are many laws in place at the state and federal level that protect workers from discrimination. Should a worker come forward to file a complaint of discrimination against their employer, employers are prohibited from retaliation against that person. Retaliation is defined as an adverse employment action and includes not just termination or firing, but also demotions, denial of benefits, denial of promotions, denial of raises, as well as missed training or mentoring opportunities.
Workplace Rights and Retaliation
Retaliation is against the law to ensure that workers can assert their workplace rights without fearing for their jobs. Workers have the right to a safe workplace that is free of harassment and discrimination. If workers feel that they are being treated otherwise they may file a complaint with their company’s human resources department or with an outside body like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This claim can be unsupported if it is made in good faith.
Additionally, if the EEOC does an investigation and asks an employee to participate as a witness, the employer is barred from punishing that employee with any form of retaliation for their testimony in the proceedings.
Sometimes workers are the ones who expose fraudulent business practices or environmentally damaging practices by their employer. These whistleblowers are also protected against retaliation by the law. The False Claims Act specifically protects workers who blow the whistle on companies that defraud the federal government.
Employees who are injured on the job may inquire about or file a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits without fear of retaliation by their employer. New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law says that employees who experience adverse employment action by their employer because of a Workers’ Compensation claim are entitled to compensation.
Retaliation may take many forms from outright wrongful termination to a hostile or aggressive work environment. Your employer may become verbally abusive, micromanage you, or exclude you from meetings in which you previously regularly took part. Retaliation may also show up as a poor performance review.
Sometimes it is possible for an employer to retaliate without realizing it. If you confront your employer and they deny your claim of retaliation and refuse to correct the situation, you can file a claim with the EEOC or similar state agency.
To prove retaliatory action was taken by your employer, it helps to have as much documented evidence as possible to show a link between the complaint or Workers’ Compensation claim that was filed, and the alleged retaliation that took place afterwards. Positive evaluations, email invitations to meetings, or other written proof can all help your case.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Represent Victims of Workplace Retaliation
Retaliation is prohibited by law and victims of workplace retaliation are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and economic damages. If you have been wrongfully terminated, or have experienced another form of retaliation, contact the South Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law today. An initial consultation is free and confidential, so call 856-414-0010 to schedule an appointment at our Cherry Hill office. You can also complete our online contact form.