Employees Are Protected from Retaliation When They Engage in Protected Activity
Employees a protected from retaliation when they make a complaint about unlawful discrimination or harassment. Retaliation can be discharge, reduction in pay or hours or other negative treatment resulting in worse terms or conditions of employment. Retaliation can also be any action that discourages an employee from making future complaints.
Employees engage in protected activity when they participate in activities such as:
- filing or being a witness in an EEOC charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
- communicating with a supervisor or manager about discrimination, including harassment.
- answering questions during an employer investigation of alleged harassment
- refusing to follow orders that result in discrimination
- resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others
- requesting disability accommodations or accommodations for a religious practice
- asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages.
Equal employment laws prohibit retaliation when an employees acts on a reasonable belief. Employees are not required to use legal terminology when complaining. This means an employee does not have to say I am being discriminated against because I ______.
However, when you believe you are subject to discrimination, it is very important that you make the employer aware. It is also very important that you follow your employers’ procedures for filing a complaint. If you do not follow your employer’s complaint procedures, you create defenses that the employer can use against you in court. Therefore, you should consult with an experienced Employment Lawyer when your employer subjects you to retaliation. Darren McClain has handled many of these cases and is ready to protect your rights.