What to Do About Workplace Retaliation

If you’ve faced a negative response by your employer to actions you take that you believe are not only valid, but also legal, you may wonder what to do about workplace retaliation. Retaliation covers any action taken by your employer in response to you exercising your rights. Before retaliation occurs, there will likely be an initial cause. Although your efforts could be legal and justifiable, they may go against your employer’s wishes.

Imagine that you work for a drug company. Your company is about to release a new drug that alleviates a health condition or cures a disease. Prior to the drug being released, laboratory studies point to a potentially dangerous side effect that could jeopardize its release. Your employer disagrees with the studies’ conclusions about side effects and tells you to disregard your concerns about them.

You refuse and release the information to the public, against the wishes of your employer. In response to your actions, your employer demotes you.

Acting Within Your Rights Protects You from Workplace Retaliation

That is a simple yet classic example of a whistleblower case. You are within your rights to refuse to do something illegal. The situation you face at work, the one that potentially exposes you to retaliation, doesn’t need to be that extreme either.

If another employee files a claim with the Human Resources department because they feel that they have been subjected to harassment, the HR staff may ask you for a statement. They may ask you and your co-workers questions like, have you witnessed this behavior? Do you recall specific scenarios in which it happened? Of course, it is legal and just to give your honest recollection of the events. But what happens if you make a whistleblower claim against your boss? You may fear retaliation and feel torn between doing the right thing and protecting your position, status, or job.

What Can You Do if You Face Workplace Retaliation?

If you are worried about a negative outcome for giving a statement or blowing the whistle, you are protected. If you were to lose your job, get demoted, or have your salary reduced, then you may have been subjected to retaliation.

The first thing to do about workplace retaliation is to prove it took place, which can be challenging. If and when you contact an employment law attorney, approach the situation as a collaborative effort. An established and professional attorney will aptly defend you and apply the law to your situation. The more information you can provide to your attorney, the better the defense that can be prepared.

Steps to Take to Prove Workplace Retaliation

Document everything. Email notes to yourself so they will be conveniently dated and time-stamped. If you get reassigned after defending a coworker against harassment claims, your employer may say it was best for the company, made sense financially, etc. Should you feel otherwise, you and your attorney will have to argue your position.

The more information you provide, the stronger the argument can be. Do the most recent actions of your employer go against or go with things they have said and done in the past. Had you received a recent accolade or been told how valuable you were in your current position? How does that stand against a recent demotion or salary reduction?

A workplace retaliation case begins with one version of the events against another, but it ends with the evidence your attorney can put forth.

Get Help from an Experienced Attorney

If you are an employee who has experienced any degree of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, call our employment lawyer at Amsberry Law Firm for a free consultation. You will speak to an attorney who is not only experienced with employment law but will work to ensure your success even post-litigation.

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Amsberry Law Firm

The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

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