Federal and state laws prohibit retaliation against employees who complain about employment discrimination, harassment, or other activities protected by employment laws. Retaliation may consist of an unlawful termination, demotion, abusive treatment, or other unfair actions.
The same laws protect employees who assist other employees in pursuing employment discrimination claims. Retaliating against an employee for pursing a claim of employment discrimination or harassment or for assisting another employee who has been subjected to discrimination pursue a complaint is unlawful.
Employees are protected from retaliation even if employment discrimination cannot be proven, so long as they have a reasonable belief that it occurred. If the employer took any adverse action against an employee for making or participating in a claim of discrimination or harassment, then the employee who was subjected to retaliation may be entitled to a remedy.
A number of laws prohibit retaliation against employees for engaging in protected activity. Those laws protect employees who make discrimination claims due to race, sex or gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, or membership in any other protected class. Those laws also protect employees who complained about harassment or hostile work environment. Employees, however, are not protected from retaliation if they are not reporting unlawful conduct.
Protected activities covered by employment discrimination laws include:
Other employment laws prohibit retaliation against employees who request benefits that the law ensures. For example, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee simply because the employee requests:
Retaliation includes any adverse action taken against an employee for complaining about, or supporting another employee’s complaint about, discrimination or harassment that violates federal, state, or local anti-discrimination laws. The most common acts of retaliation include:
Some acts of retaliation are obvious while others are subtle. Any employee who believes that an adverse employment action was taken in retaliation for making or participating in an employment discrimination claim should seek immediate legal advice.
The lawyers at Minnis & Smallets have a successful history of pursuing compensation on behalf of employees who experienced an unlawful termination or other adverse employment action after they complained of illegal activity. Learn more about your legal rights by calling Minnis & Smallets at 1-415-551-0885. You can also tell us about your situation by submitting our online contact form.