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What is retaliation in employment law?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2022 | Employment Litigation

While there are many reasons that employers can terminate employees, termination as a form of retaliation isn’t acceptable — nor is any other form of illegal retaliation.

No employer can retaliate against an employee because they take part in a protected activity. This includes many things, such as cooperating with an investigation and filing a factual complaint about illegal activity. Resisting sexual advances and trying to stop those if they’re toward someone else are also protected. 

What’s a negative employment action?

Negative employment actions are things that cause harm to the employee either by creating a hostile work environment or impacting their pay. This includes things like moving them to a less desirable shift or location, reducing their pay, terminating them, demoting them or making the workplace unbearable. 

Employers can still terminate employees for valid reasons. The employees must still do their job duties appropriately. It’s best to keep good records regarding their performance if there are issues. These can come in handy if there’s a question about the reason for termination. The employee can’t use the fact that they participated in protected activity to save their job if they aren’t performing as they should. 

There aren’t ever situations in which retaliation should be permitted. Employers are always expected to follow the law. If there comes a time when an employee makes a claim of retaliation, the business should find out what options it has for protecting itself. There might be some options that are time-sensitive so be sure to get started as quickly as possible on your company’s defense. 

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