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Main terms to describe retaliation

An employer does not have the right to demote, fire, harass, or retaliate against an employee in the event that he or she files a charge of discrimination. Even though there are Florida state and federal laws protecting against this, some companies make this mistake.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are three primary terms that are used to describe retaliation. These are as follows:

-- Adverse action. The definition of adverse action, as noted by the EEOC, is as follows:

"An adverse action is an action taken to try to keep someone from opposing a discriminatory practice, or from participating in an employment discrimination proceeding."

-- Covered individuals. A covered individual is a person who has opposed some type of unlawful practice, requested accommodations, or has participated in proceedings related to discrimination based on age, disability, sex, color, race, religion, or national origin.

-- Protected activity. This is described by the EEOC as "Opposition to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination."

Opposition is as simple as telling your employer that you believe he or she is engaging in some type of discrimination.

Regardless of the industry in which you work, you could come across a situation in which you need to speak out against your employer. While you may be frightened to do so, knowing that you are protected by retaliation laws may make it easier for you to step forward and do the right thing.

Many people in this position wish to consult with an attorney before coming forward. Others don't do this right away, but instead wait to see if they are retaliated against.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts About Retaliation" Nov. 03, 2014

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