The law protects employees from retaliation after they report violations in their workplace. This protection helps keep workplaces safe and free from misconduct. Employees who believe they experienced retaliation by their superiors or employers may be able to build a compelling case by showing several crucial elements.
They experienced misconduct
Employees might see or experience several types of misconduct in the workplace. These include discrimination, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions and wage-related violations. Sometimes, these activities involve not just their superiors but their co-workers as well.
They reported the misconduct
Employees can report misconduct in good faith without fear of retaliation or adverse reaction by their superiors or employers. This is because reporting misconduct is an activity protected by law. Other protected activities include complaining about discriminatory policies, engaging in union-related activities and refusing to obey discriminatory orders.
The employer responded negatively
An employer might retaliate against an employee who reported misconduct in several ways. These include the following:
- Firing the employee
- Isolating them from their co-workers
- Harassing the employee
- Issuing verbal threats
Documents like emails, text messages and witness testimonies might help employees prove that employers retaliated because they reported misconduct.
Employment laws are complex. An experienced employment law attorney can help employees build a strong case against employer retaliation and improve their chances of securing favorable outcomes. For example, an attorney can advise on which types of evidence will likely be valuable and which might be inadmissible in court.