Sometimes, employers in Florida punish their employees. If those punishments are handed out in response to employees’ legally protected activities, that’s a subversion of the law. It’s called workplace retaliation, and it happens regularly.
Employers who engage in workplace retaliation are unlikely to admit it. Fortunately, they don’t have to. If someone has employment law experience, workplace retaliation is often easy to recognize.
Workplace retaliation takes many forms. A classic example is when employers fire someone for engaging in protected activities. For instance, disabled employees have a right to reasonable accommodations. If an employee were to request legally required accommodations and, in response, the company fired them, that would be retaliation.
Firing someone isn’t the only type of retaliation. Here are a few other forms it can take:
• Lowered pay
• Benefit reduction
• Negative performance reviews
• Assigning unpleasant tasks
• Changing the work schedule
Some of the above actions are, in themselves, things employers might do for legitimate reasons. While it’s true that harassment is never acceptable, firing someone might be. That’s why it’s important to distinguish between legal behavior and illegal retaliation.
Context is key in determining whether a behavior was workplace retaliation. These cases are sometimes self-evident. For example, if you reported your boss for sexual harassment on Friday and were fired on Monday, workplace retaliation seems likely.
In other cases, it’s not as obvious. An employee might not even realize they’re experiencing retaliation at first if it’s something subtle.
Regardless of what form it takes, illegal workplace retaliation is wrong. If you believe you’ve been subject to workplace retaliation, you might benefit from speaking to an attorney with experience in employment law.