Workplace Retaliation

During the 2019 federal fiscal year, nearly 54 percent of all the complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) across the nation involved retaliation against employees. This made workplace retaliation far and away the leading problem faced by workers.

People who work in Ohio are not immune. In fact, 52 percent of the EEOC cases coming out of the state during 2019 included an allegation of retaliation.

The legal team at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman cannot stop this widespread mistreatment of workers who speak up about discrimination, abuse, unequal pay, unsafe working condition and other problems. We can, and do, fight to hold employers accountable under employee rights laws.

Defining Workplace Retaliation

Retaliation against employees happens when supervisors and managers punish workers for engaging in what are called protected activities. Such activities include

  • Reporting or participating in an investigation of discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, religion, or age when older than 40;
  • Reporting or participating in an investigation of sexual harassment;
  • Asking for an accommodation of a temporary or long-term disability;
  • Demanding the minimum wage, payment for all hours worked, and payment of earned overtime;
  • Demanding equal pay for men and women who work for the same company and do the same jobs;
  • Reporting violations of laws and regulations (i.e., acting as a whistleblower);
  • Filing a claim for workers’ compensation;
  • Becoming pregnant;
  • Requesting or using unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act;
  • Serving in the military; and
  • Engaging in union activities.

Employers who resent or feel threatened by such actions find many ways to retaliate against employees. A partial list of retaliatory acts includes

  • Harassment, insults, threats, and bullying;
  • Sabotage;
  • Demotion;
  • Reassignment to low-status, demeaning, or dangerous tasks;
  • Pay cut;
  • Denial of benefits;
  • Denial of promotions and career opportunities such as training; and
  • Firing.

Sometimes, employers do not fire employees they wish to punish for engaging in protected activities. They instead make staying in a job feel so unpleasant and unsafe that a targeted employee quits.

Fighting Back Against Workplace Retaliation

Employees who experience workplace retaliation can feel powerless. They find themselves either out of work or unable to defend themselves for fear of losing their job or experiencing more abuse.

First, speaking with a lawyer who only has their best interest at heart can help an employee put into words they ways they are being retaliated against and make a plan for doing something about it. We will be able to explain how to report the issue to HR or a trusted supervisor, escalate the case to the EEOC, or file lawsuit.

Hiring an attorney will give the worker a legal ally who knows how to gather, organize, and present evidence to prove the allegations of illegal retaliation and to support claims for compensation. Winning a workplace retaliation case can result in rehiring/reinstatement, receiving back pay with interest, and being awarded compensatory damages. A judge may also order the defendant employee to improve its treatment of all employees or face further sanctions.

Contact our Workplace Retaliation Lawyers

To learn how one of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman’s workplace retaliation lawyers could help you, call our Columbus, Ohio, offices at (614) 221-3318. We are available to advise and represent workers across the state, and we take appointments online.

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Worker’s Comp Lawyers Columbus, Ohio - Agee Clymer

140 E. Town St. #1100
Columbus, OH 43215