Retaliation Claims Are Generally Settled: Everything You Need to Know

Retaliation Claims Are Generally Settled

The American business is a complicated entity that is designed to maximize employee productivity but is undermined by “workplace harassment” and other problems that can make the workplace unsafe or unpleasant for employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other organizations in the United States legally protect workers from unprofessional and hostile acts at work. If a worker uses their legal right to report infractions and their employer reprimands them, what happens? Retaliation claims are generally settled and there are laws prohibiting retaliation by employers, A lot more will be discussed in this article

Definition of Terms

Retaliation:  Retaliation is defined by the EEOC as a type of employment discrimination brought on by a negative action done by an employer, such as cutting back on hours, demoting, or firing an employee in reaction to a report of illegal activity. An employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee for opposing illegal actions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. 

Retaliation Claim: Retaliation claims arise when an employee reports that they have been the victim of discrimination based on protected status (such as race, gender, or disability) and they have been subjected to adverse treatment (such as a demotion) in reprisal for reporting this claim.

What Constitutes A Robust Case of Retaliation?

Although it can be difficult, winning a retaliation case is achievable if you have compelling evidence in your favor. The strength of your case is dependent on the quality of your evidence. To put it another way, you must provide facts and supporting data to support your assertion. At that point, your case starts to make sense and seem credible.

The following are examples of the kinds of proof that strengthen an allegation of workplace retaliation:

  • Evidence proving you were the victim of illegal harassment or discrimination.
  • Proof that you participated in a protected activity at work
  • Evidence showing your employer reacted negatively to you because you participated in a protected activity at work
  • Proof that the unfavorable or retaliatory action—such as unlawful termination, demotion, pay reduction, transfer, etc.—caused you to suffer losses and damages.

In cases of workplace retaliation, it matters whether you, as an employee, witnessed or experienced illegal behavior or action—or, in certain situations, inaction—on the part of the employer and were penalized for reporting it.

Which Three Things Make Up A Retaliation Claim?

Establishing or providing proof that your company retaliated against you is one of the most difficult aspects of workplace retaliation claims. Even though you may have documentation proving your employer retaliated against you by firing or demoting you, you still need to demonstrate that the actions were meant to be retaliatory to establish retaliation.

To prove retaliation, you must prove the following three elements:

1. The activity you performed was protected. “Protected activity” in the workplace refers to activities that employees can do without worrying about employers or supervisors taking adverse action against them. Stated differently, these kinds of acts are legally protected. For example, you are legally protected against discrimination and harassment at work and from reporting harmful working conditions. Consequently, your employer cannot take adverse action against you if you engage in it. Demonstrating that the action that led to the retaliation was protected is the first step.

2. You were subjected to negative treatment by your employer. In a workplace retaliation case, you must prove that your employer’s actions negatively impacted you at work.

You must provide evidence that you were denied participation in the training, possibly due to revenge against you.

3. There was retaliation for the action taken against you. Lastly, you have to demonstrate that the negative behavior you were subjected to was retaliatory. It is necessary to demonstrate a direct link between the retaliatory action and the negative action.

Retaliation Claims Are Generally Settled: Laws Prohibiting Retaliation by Employers

US employment law prohibits employers from retaliating negatively against workers who report or protest against unfair practices or assist in investigations.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), retaliatory action is considered “employment discrimination” under federal law.

The following federal legislative acts also provide protections against some forms of retaliation:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act protects employees who file claims for back pay.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides whistleblower protection for health and safety infractions.
  • The Act Concerning Family and Medical Leave
  • National Labor Relations Act protects union organizing action.
  • The 1963 Equal Pay Act (EPA)

Certain US states have state laws that acknowledge retaliation accusations based on “public policy” violations. This includes purportedly unlawful conduct, environmental risks, safety rule infractions, and internal company protocol violations.

Can Retaliation Claims Be Generally Settled?

Yes, retaliation claims can be settled.

Employees who make claims in good faith are protected against employer retaliation, even if their accusations turn out to be false, according to an analysis of recent jury judgments and settlements for workplace retaliation cases.

The following are a few of the judgments and agreements mentioned in the review:

A general manager at a real estate company in California was fired after she reported break and overtime violations. The company was found guilty of this crime. In this case, the jury returned a $4.6 million verdict.

An award of $800,000 plus attorney fees was given to a correctional officer who claimed they were the victims of harassment and discrimination due to their disability and sexual orientation. The jury eventually determined that the employer’s acts did not constitute unlawful harassment or discrimination, notwithstanding the correctional officer’s further claim that she was subjected to retaliation by her supervisors for reporting their actions. Despite this, the officer received a $800,000 award from the jury for mental anguish stemming from the retaliation claim.

A jury awarded more than $800,000 to two sales personnel who said they complained to their company about wage and hour violations but were fired for raising the issue.

An employee was awarded a $1.6 million verdict for reporting inappropriate behavior towards women by a supervisor. A worker reported that the manager forced female employees to attend strip clubs, leading to offensive sexual remarks towards other employees. The worker was eventually sacked after being refused a promotion soon after complaining to higher management.

An experienced employment lawyer can provide a proper assessment of your case, despite the example verdicts and settlements provided.

Retaliation Claims Are Generally Settled: FAQs

What Steps Are Involved in Taking Revenge?

Retaliation starts with a perceived infraction (filing a discrimination claim, for example). Those who are accused may start to wonder and feel the need for revenge if they genuinely think they have done nothing wrong or if they think their offensive behavior was justified in some way.

What Constitutes an Act of Retaliation?

Formal personnel measures like termination, demotion, non-promotion, or non-selection are not the only ways in which retaliation occurs. Retaliatory acts include harassing behavior, significant job changes, and threats of personnel action.

Is Taking Revenge Right or Wrong?

In addition to being against the law, retaliation hurts businesses. It is in your best interest to have employees feel free to report instances of discrimination to you so that you can look into and deal with any behavior that goes against the law or the policies of your business.

Final Thoughts

Legal action against discrimination and retaliation at work is protected by state and federal law, but pursuing justice can be challenging due to the burden of proof. You need to be able to demonstrate workplace retaliation with enough proof and an effective presentation. This article will go over the kinds of evidence that are relevant and why they are in a retaliation lawsuit. We’ll also go over how a skilled lawyer can assist you in obtaining proof to support your allegations.

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