Employees deserve a workplace that’s free of illegal activities. For some, making a formal complaint is frightening because they are concerned that they will face retaliation. One thing to remember if you are in this position is that retaliation at work due to you taking part in a protected activity is illegal.
Employers can’t take negative employment actions, such as termination, demotion, unfavorable performance reviews or reducing an employee’s pay because the person files a truthful complaint or participates in an investigation against the company. Some examples of protected activities include:
- Refusing sexual advances, reporting sexual harassment or trying to stop others from being harassed
- Filing EEOC complaints about things like harassment or discrimination
- Asking for religious practice accommodations
- Cooperating with an investigation against the company
- Reporting any illegal activities directly to a company representative
Individuals who are in this position must realize that participation in a protected activity doesn’t mean that they can’t face any negative employment actions. The key here is that the actions can’t be directly related to the protected activity. An employee who is breaking the rules and who isn’t doing their job duties properly can still face disciplinary measures at work.
Employees who believe they have been subjected to retaliation may opt to act. Learning about the options and how they might impact you can be beneficial. This gives you the opportunity to determine what you feel most comfortable with and what might be the most effective. Your attorney can help you review the case and work with you to figure out a plan of action.