What Is the Legal Process for Retaliation at Work?

What Is the Legal Process for Retaliation at Work?

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What Is the Legal Process for Retaliation at Work?

Employment laws ensure that workplaces around the country are safe for employees. Still, employers and coworkers have been known to infringe on the rights of workers. In fact, it happens much more frequently than you might think. 

At Morgan & Morgan, we know you can’t protect yourself or defend your rights if you don’t know what they are in the first place. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of what those rights are. Then, we’ll dive deeper into the specifics of workplace retaliation. 

Each year, tens of thousands of retaliation claims are filed. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you aren’t alone. Keep reading to learn more about the retaliation at work process and how to protect your rights. 

If you’ve been faced with retaliation at work, the experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help. Simply fill out our easy contact form to schedule a free case evaluation today.

Understanding Your Employee Rights

By nature, the employer-employee relationship can cause a bit of a power struggle. But while your boss may dictate your roles and responsibilities at work, he or she cannot infringe on your rights. 
You can break your employee rights down into several categories. Primarily, they include:

  • Workplace safety
  • Overtime
  • Wages
  • Wrongful termination
  • Discrimination

While we won’t have time in this article to cover each of these categories in great detail, we can give you a brief overview. Essentially, when you are at work, you have a right to:

  • Receive fair wages for the work you perform
  • Be free from retaliation for making a complaint against your employer
  • Work in a safe environment 
  • Be free from harassment and discrimination

If you feel that any of these rights have been violated by your employer, it may be time to call an attorney. At Morgan & Morgan, we deal with workplace lawsuits of all shapes and sizes. We can answer all of your questions and help you better understand the retaliation at work process. 

Defining Retaliation at Work

Employment laws are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO). And according to the EEO, all employees should be able to assert their rights without fear of retaliation. 
Essentially, this means that an employee may:

  • File a workplace charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
  • Participate as a witness in the charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit of a fellow employee
  • Speak to a supervisor about workplace harassment or discrimination
  • Refuse to follow instructions that would lead to workplace discrimination
  • Resist the sexual advances of a supervisor or coworker
  • Request accommodations for a disability or religious practice
  • Make inquiries about salary information to discover potentially discriminatory wages

As long as the employee acts upon a reasonable belief that conditions in the workplace violate EEO laws, they have a right to be free from retaliation. But what, exactly, is retaliation?

Retaliation may take many forms. Examples include being reprimanded by an employer, being transferred to a less desirable position, and these other retaliatory behaviors:

  • Being unfairly scrutinized
  • Having false rumors made about oneself
  • Getting unfair workloads or schedules
  • Being a victim of verbal or physical abuse

If you notice workplace conditions that infringe upon your rights or the rights of a coworker, you have a right to speak up. Should you face retaliation for asserting that right, call an employment law attorney at Morgan & Morgan. We can teach you more about the retaliation at work legal process. 

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  • What to Expect From the Legal Process of a Retaliation Case

    If a previously acceptable workplace situation has suddenly become dangerous or uncomfortable because of retaliation, please call. It may be time to file a workplace retaliation claim. Although we can better advise you during your free case evaluation, here is an overview of the retaliation at work process. 

    If this is your first time facing a legal dispute, you may not know what to expect. Unfortunately, there are no cut-and-dry answers. The length of the proceedings and the damages you are entitled to will depend entirely upon the facts of your case. Details like the skill of your attorney, the backlog of the courts, and the availability of evidence can all affect the outcome.

    Although the specifics of your case may vary, here is a general outline of what to expect from the retaliation at work process:

    1. Your attorney will file the lawsuit
    2. Your employer will be served with the lawsuit
    3. Your employer’s legal team will respond to the suit
    4. Both sides will enter the discovery process (meaning information will be shared between parties)
    5. Both sides will enter settlement negotiations
    6. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial

    To better understand the legal proceedings ahead of you, call our office today. We know that coming forward with your case may be difficult, and we are here to lend the support you need. 

  • The 5 Warning Signs of Retaliation

    If you are still unsure whether you actually have a retaliation case, you may wonder if there are warning signs to watch for. Although each scenario is unique, there are five telltale signs that indicate your rights have been violated. They are:

    1. Receiving a demotion
    2. Being terminated or let go from your position
    3. Receiving a pay cut or losing out on your regularly scheduled hours
    4. Being intentionally excluded from trainings, meetings, or other activities
    5. Having your schedule or duties reassigned unfairly

    Do any of these warning signs ring a bell? If you feel you have been subjected to one or more of these retaliatory behaviors, call Morgan & Morgan today. 

  • How to Prove Your Retaliation Case Is Valid

    Proving that you were retaliated against can be a complicated process. But if you hire a knowledgeable attorney from Morgan & Morgan, we can help you get started on the right foot. To make your case successful, we advise you to follow these important steps.

    Come Prepared to Your Consultation

    Getting started on the right foot begins on day one. So we strongly recommend that you come fully prepared for your initial consultation with an attorney. 

    If you have questions about workplace retaliation, write them down so you do not forget to ask them. Then, be willing to answer any and all questions the attorney has for you. 

    As you describe the situation to your attorney, don’t leave any details out. Doing so could greatly hurt your case and keep it from being successful. You should also make copies of any and all evidence you have obtained. That way, your attorney has those documents on hand as he starts to work on your case. 

    Collect Evidence Through the Process

    The evidence you collect throughout your experience may make or break your case. Before you even contact an attorney, it helps to have hard evidence that your rights have been infringed upon.

    Of course, the type of evidence you have access to will depend on your situation. However, we frequently see these types of documentation in the cases we argue:

    • Emails
    • Personal notes/journal entries
    • Voicemails
    • Letters
    • Memos
    • Call logs
    • Text messages

    If a coworker witnessed the retaliatory behavior, it will help to have his or her testimony to add to your list of evidence. Your attorney may interview the person and ask them to testify in your case. 

    Keep in mind that in many states, you cannot make an audio or video recording without consent from all parties involved. Speak to your attorney about how you can legally acquire the evidence needed to support your case.

    Don’t let a lack of evidence hold you back from asserting your rights. By speaking with an attorney about the situation, you may find that you have more proof than you previously believed. At Morgan & Morgan, we offer free case evaluations for this very reason. Call us today to get one set up.

  • Can My Employer Punish Me for a Failed Retaliation Lawsuit?

    It is completely unlawful for your employer to retaliate after you have filed a lawsuit, even if that lawsuit is unsuccessful. If you are fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against after a failed lawsuit, please reach out to our attorneys. 

  • Do Bad References Qualify as Retaliation?

    A negative job reference could qualify as an act of retaliation. In fact, previous cases have been won based on these types of circumstances. In Male v. Tops Market, a New York federal court ruled in favor of a former employee who received negative job references from an employer after previously filing a discrimination lawsuit.

    Any post-employment retaliation that hurts your prospects for finding new employment is illegal. Call us if you find yourself in a similar situation.

  • Is There a Statute of Limitations for Retaliation?

    Different states have different statutes of limitations for these types of lawsuits. In Utah, the SOL is four years. In New York, it’s three. And in Nevada, it’s two. If you want to learn about your state’s Statute of Limitations, you should give Morgan & Morgan a call to set up an appointment and learn more.

  • Are There Alternatives to Filing a Lawsuit for Retaliation?

    If you would rather not file a lawsuit but want to have the retaliation issue put to rest, you do have a few other options. You might try to talk to another supervisor or member of HR about the issue. If a discussion doesn’t resolve the issue, you might try putting your complaint into writing. And if neither of those options work, call an attorney to discuss what else you might try. 

  • Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation

    We know that the retaliation at work legal process can be intimidating. If you would like to have a conversation about the process, your rights, and your options, simply fill out the contact form on our website. We offer free case evaluations so that you can feel supported from day one.

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