Retaliation claims comprise more claims than race discrimination, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These claims make up nearly 45 percent of all claims filed by Florida employees and others throughout the country. Being able to recognize this type of treatment and knowing what to do in this situation can help applicants and employees who find themselves in this precarious position.
Workplace retaliation occurs when an employer illegally retaliates against an employee or applicant because that person carried out a protected activity. This activity may be complaining about an illegal practice, filing a discrimination claim, assisting in a discrimination claim investigation or being a whistleblower to name a few. Examples of adverse action include firing, demoting, harassing, reassigning, decreasing pay or failing to promote the individual. Retaliation may even include writing a bad review for an employee so as to later justify action against the employee. Retaliation can be anything that alters the terms and conditions of employment, such as being assigned to an undesirable work task, excluding the employee or applicant for opportunities and social settings, changing fringe benefits or not providing training.
If someone finds that he or she is subject to retaliation, the next step is to determine how to protect his or her rights. It is often important to keep a record of the ill treatment, including any notes, memos or emails that help demonstrate the retaliation. An affected employee or applicant may seek the assistance of an attorney for help with a claim.
Individuals who believe that a recent adverse action against them was due to retaliation may seek legal assistance. An employment law attorney may be able to describe potential options based on the details of the case.