Employees are fond of raising concerns when they note a violation at the workplace. While their fellow workmates may applaud this, it becomes a thorn in the flesh to most employers.
No one likes being exposed. An exposed employer will do all they can to eliminate employees who seem to blow whistles at the workplace. Such an employer takes an adverse employment action which may be subtle in most cases, and employees are not quick to spot them.
If your employer is treating you less favorably because you reported discrimination or opposed one, you may wonder how an employment lawyer would help you file your claim.
Understanding Retaliation At Workplace
Few employees are aware of their legal rights when it comes to retaliation. Retaliation is when an employer takes a negative employment action towards an employee who engages in a legally protected activity. Some of the ways an employer may retaliate against an employee include:
- Denial of training opportunities
- Being denied a pay raise
- Exclusion from important workplace happening
- Denial of benefits offered to other employees
There are many ways to retaliate against, but discovering such retaliation means that you can take legal action against your employer. Since employers may have more powers to silence you down, the best move would be to hire an employment attorney in Orange County to help you fight back.
How Your Lawyer Will Help In Your Retaliation Case?
One of the first secure steps an employee can take in any employment case is to look for a lawyer. Your employer will take your claim more seriously after he/she realizes you have a legal representation. After conducting your research and getting the best employment attorney, he/she will interview you to grasp your case circumstances and determine whether you may have a valid case. Typically, your lawyer will be concerned with two main things:
- How you were retaliated against: This will include the evidence for the case.
- Whether the said retaliation caused you harm
The above boils down to how the court may perceive your case by looking at the evidence provided. Your lawyer will more likely dwell on bringing up the evidence that:
- You witnessed and reported a legally protected activity
- Your employer took an adverse action against you
- Due to the retaliation, you suffered damages
It’s worth noting that for retaliation, as long as an adverse action seems to deter you from making a complaint, it would constitute retaliation. Again, retaliation stands even if the basis to which you blew the whistle or complained is unfounded. As long as you can prove that you were doing so in good faith, this constitutes illegal retaliation. Your lawyer evaluate your retaliation case by:
- Gathering evidence. Your lawyer may request for:
- Documents or emails
- Ask whether there were any witnesses and request for their names and contact.
- Request for a document detailing that you made a complaint to your employer or a relevant agency. Here, you should also provide the person’s information to whoever you made a complaint, their address, and any other information deemed valuable. For instance, you may have filed a discrimination claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or you could have reported to OSHA about the unsafe working condition at the workplace. Even if you were a witness to such legal actions, the law still protects you.
- Losses Suffered. Your employment lawyer will get the details of the amount of damages you have incurred due to retaliation. Some of these losses may include:
- Lost wages
- Employment benefits such as medical health care benefits,
- Expenses spent in search of a new job
- New opportunities
- Your employer may request for your pay stubs to determine the amount of income lost.
It’s not easy to produce evidence showing how your employer has retaliated against you. But with the help of an experienced employment lawyer, this becomes easy. Again, not every form of retaliation you think may be illegal. For instance, if you file a discrimination claim and your employer’s attitude towards you changed and he/she started treating you in a less friendly way, you cannot conclude such to be retaliation. The action taken has to have a negative effect on you. But, in whichever way you may suspect retaliation; it’s better to first speak about the issue with your supervisor. It could be a little misunderstanding that may be sorted out immediately. However, if your supervisor or manager turns a deaf ear, it may be a good chance to think about retaliation and how you may take legal action. You should make it clear that your employer took an adverse action against you immediately when you complained of their action.
An employment lawyer can help you build up your retaliation case and obtain the damages you deserve. You do have to suffer from an illegal retaliation when the law protects you against such; he/she can help you know your legal rights.