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 was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!