CAN MY EMPLOYER RETALIATE AGAINST ME?
All employees are protected from workplace retaliation. Retaliation is defined as taking an “adverse action” against an employee who engages in “protected activity.” What does this mean? An adverse action includes things like termination, demotion, changes in job duties, assignment to a different shift and a variety of others. The definition of adverse action is always changing so this list is not complete and does not include all examples of adverse actions that may be taken against an employee. If an adverse action is taken against an employee who has engaged in protected activity, a claim for retaliation may exist. You may contact one of our Columbus, Ohio retaliation attorneys to discuss your circumstances.
“Protected activity” occurs when an employee either complains or opposes discrimination (by filing an EEOC Charge for example) or participates in some kind of discrimination proceeding, like an investigation, as a witness or otherwise. It is important to note that even if you oppose what you reasonably believe to be discriminatory behavior, but it turns out not to be, you are also protected from retaliation. The key is that your belief, as an employee, must have been reasonable and you must have made the complaint in good faith. This is something our Ohio retaliation lawyers can help you determine.
Some examples of protected activity include:
- Filing an EEOC Charge
- Participating in the investigation of another employee who files an EEOC Charge
- Cooperating with an internal investigation regarding allegations of discrimination
- Serving as a witness in hearing/proceeding of any kind regarding allegations of discrimination
How do I know if my boss or employer has retaliated against me?
It can be difficult to determine whether you’ve been retaliated against but sometimes it is obvious. For example, if the person you’ve complained about becomes aware of and confronts you about it, this can be deemed retaliatory. There will be other situations where you may just notice subtle behavior. If the person you complained about becomes aware of it and begins harassing you because of it, this is an example of retaliation. Keep in mind, only actions that are actually deemed “adverse” as described above are considered retaliatory under the law.
Examples of Retaliation Scenarios
1) If I am a male employee and I complain about what I believe to be a pay disparity between male and female employees, am I protected from retaliation even though I am not complaining about my own compensation?
A: Yes. As long as you have a reasonable belief that female employees are paid less than male employees, you may question the practice and you will be protected from retaliation for doing so. Discrimination does not have to be directed at you in order for you to oppose it.
2) I overheard a co-worker make a derogatory, racist remark to another co-worker but did not report it myself. Human Resources launched an investigation and interviewed me. I answered truthfully regarding what I heard. Am I protected?
A: Yes. Again, the discrimination does not need to be directed toward you for you to oppose it. Participating in an investigation regarding allegations of discrimination is protected activity and you are protected from retaliation.
3) I am still employed but I feel I was discriminated against, so I filed an EEOC Charge. My employer was notified of my filing of the Charge and now my boss treats me terribly. Am I protected?
A: Maybe. It depends on the type of conduct your boss is engaging in. Even if it is not considered retaliation, an experienced lawyer can act on your behalf to address the conduct and
If you have questions about whether you are experiencing retaliation because you participated in protected activity, call our Ohio employment lawyers and we can help you. For more information related to retaliation claims generally, please contact the Ohio Employment Lawyers at The Friedmann Firm.
Rachel and Dominick were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. They got back to me quickly, whenever I had questions, which helped me stay calm during a very stressful time. Rachel was confident in her abilities and knowledge of the labor laws, and she was able to secure a settlement for me. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you take action against an employer, I would highly recommend the Friedman Firm. There's no one I would recommend more to be in your corner.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, this is your sign to talk to Rachel and Jamie. Amazing!! They handled my case like the true professionals they are! They stuck to a strategy, even when it seemed like it wasn’t going our way and BAM! We get the outcome we wanted. I couldn’t be happier and I will always return to them if I EVER have an employment issue again. Thank you so much for helping me and my family!
Dedicated! Thorough! Detailed! Professional! Personable! I can keep going with the many qualities Pete and his team have. I highly recommend him!!! You won't be disappointed.
I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
Rachel was top-notch from start to finish. She was responsible, professional, quick to respond to emails, texts or phone calls. She gives it to you straight, which I prefer! She thinks outside the box and is definitely the dog you want in the fight for you. She does not waste time and immediately dives right in to get the best results she can for you. I would highly recommend Rachel and her firm to anyone who wants to get the job done right, the first time, in a professional, compassionate and decisive manner.
My wife used this firm for a matter she had with her former employer. She could not have been more satisfied with their services. They were timely in responses, courteous, and very thoughtful. This was a difficult process for her and Pete made it so much easier by handling all of the details of her case.
Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.