State and federal labor laws forbid employer retaliation against employees for any of the following:
Depending on the situation, the available protection against employer retaliation varies; some employment parameters forbid any kind of workplace retaliation, but others only provide security against wrongful termination or when an employee is discharged on the basis of unlawful circumstances. For example, if an employee is entitled to receive minimum wage or overtime pay, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the employer has no right to retaliate by discriminating against the worker in some capacity or firing them.
Likewise, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting an allegation such as sexual harassment. Furthermore, if an employee "blows the whistle" on an employer for abusing one of the labor laws, the employee is protected under the Whistleblower Act for reporting the misconduct. For instance, if an employee files a qui tam lawsuit against their employer for committing fraud against the federal government and violating the False Claims Act, the law protects the worker. If the lawsuit is successful, the employee is even entitled to a portion of the winnings collected on the government's behalf.
Legislation banning unfair labor practices prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for forming or joining a union or taking part in justifiable union events. Right to work and other employment laws bar employers or unions from retaliating against a worker if they decide not to join or resign from union membership.
It is normally illegal for employers to seek revenge on an employee who rationally exercises their employee rights under workers' compensation and unemployment laws, such as filing and appealing genuine claims for benefits. Depending on which state you're in, certain methods of retaliation are illegal. Benefits and laws vary by state as well.
When precise retaliation standards are not in place, your rights as an employee may defend you from employment and workplace retaliation under public policy or common law. For instance, if an employer fires a member of their staff for refusing to break a state law or city ordinance, it is a possibility that the employer defied local public policy and wrongfully terminated the employee.
If an employer or union retaliates against an employee in spite of the fact it's against the law, employee rights enable the victim to seek relief; the employee is entitled to file a report with the government branch responsible for enforcing the appropriate law and/or file a lawsuit through a lawyer.
Normally, in order to report workplace retaliation, the employee does not have to be 100 percent positive that the employer broke the law. The employee simply should logically believe that they have been illegally targeted. Leave it to the discretion of the associated government agency or an attorney to decide if the employer violated any code of conduct.
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