Protecting Employees From Unfair, Illegal Retaliation
A worker can typically detect – and an employer will normally deny – a practice of unfair and illegal retaliation. If you suspect your employer has retaliated against you illegally, contact an employment law attorney. An experienced lawyer can evaluate the facts, determine whether you have a valid complaint and advise you on ways to assert your rights.
Retaliation For Confronting Discrimination?
Unlawful retaliation often occurs within a context of alleged discrimination. For example, a worker may claim that a supervisor transferred them to a less desirable position after learning that the employee had refused to follow orders that would result in discrimination against someone else.
Other alleged actions by employees that sometimes lead to illegal retaliation, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) include:
- Filing an EEOC complaint or taking part in an EEOC investigation
- Telling a supervisor about alleged sexual harassment by someone
- Resisting sexual advances by anyone
- Requesting reasonable accommodation for a disability or a religious practice
Forms of retaliation may include the following actions by managers, supervisor or work team leaders (excerpted and paraphrased from information posted by the EEOC):
- Lower performance evaluations than usual, without good reason
- Insults, yelling, threats or other verbal abuse
- Hitting, shoving or other types of physical abuse
- Threats to call the police or immigration authorities
- Unjustified rumors
- Negative actions against family members of the worker
- Imposition of difficult work schedules or other hardships
Retaliation For Taking Or Asking For Family Or Medical Leave?
Another type of retaliation that is illegal may happen when an employee takes family or medical leave as allowed by law (or asks to take lawful leave). Employers and managers sometimes wrongfully penalize workers for asserting their legal right to take care of their health or family members. These employers may choose to ignore the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA, a federal law) or equivalent state laws such as:
- The New Jersey Family Leave Act
- The New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ SAFE Act”)
Supervisors or managers sometimes penalize workers similarly when they take allotted paid time off (PTO) such as vacation and sick leave. In these situations, they violate their own company policies. Such retaliation may be considered a violation of an employment contract.
Employers may also retaliate against whistleblowers in the workplace. These are people (usually employees) who report observed illegal activities on the job to authorities. Such illegal activities may include environmental noncompliance, fraud and other violations of local, state or federal laws.
Our Employment Law Firm Can Be Your Advocate
Since 2010, our firm has brought together experienced, knowledgeable legal professionals to protect people’s rights in various areas of the law, including in employment contexts. We encourage you to call us at 973-852-3229 or send a brief email inquiry through this website. Ask how we can help after your employer has retaliated against you for reporting discrimination, taking family leave, taking PTO or blowing the whistle on illegal activities in the workplace.