Understanding Employer Retaliation And How To Prove It

Understanding Employer Retaliation And How To Prove It

Nov 03

When an employer violates employment laws, an employee has the right to lodge a complaint against the company. A worker who files a discrimination or harassment claim against their employer is protected from retaliation from their employer. Under most laws, it is illegal for management to retaliate against an employee for filing a claim. According to records from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a third of most discrimination charges include a retaliation claim.

In a retaliation claim, you need to prove three things for your case to be successful. First, you engaged in a protected activity. Second, your employer took action against you. Finally, there is a causal link between your activity and the action of the employer. Texas employment law attorneys of the Leichter Law Firm will tell you that a successful claim may make an employee eligible to receive lost wages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.

Federal laws that make discrimination illegal also prohibit retaliation against an employee who engages in protected activity. There are two types of protected activity namely opposition and participation. In opposition, an employee who oppose any activity that is illegal under employment laws engage in protected activity. Examples of protected activity include directly complaining of harassment or discrimination or participating in investigations.

Participation, on the other hand, involves employees who file charges of discrimination with the EEOC, participates or assist in investigations, or files or takes part in investigations is protected from retaliation.

The second thing you have to prove in a retaliation case is the negative action of the employer against the employee. Examples of retaliation with materially adverse reactions include demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, transfer, change in job assignments, and others. However, the Supreme Court does not confine adverse actions to employment or in the workplace. As long as the action will prevent an employee from making a complaint, it can be considered adverse action.

The third thing you need to prove in a retaliation claim is the connection between the protected activity and the negative action. An activity can only be considered as retaliation if the adverse action was completely related with the complaint.