What Is Retaliation? What Are My Rights?
What is retaliation? Retaliation is different from discrimination because it is based not on the protected class of the employee, but on some action taken by the employee that the employer did not like. It might have been as simple as complaining about not being paid overtime, requesting accommodations for a physical disability, or for taking FMLA leave because of a physical disability or to care for a family member. These three situations are merely examples of engaging in protected activity, but there are many types of protected activity such as, but not limited to: complaining to a governmental agency, complaining about workplace safety, complaining about patient safety, or about the employer violating the law in some way. When an employer takes an adverse action against an employee that follows closely in time after some form of protected activity, it is considered retaliation for engaging in the protected activity. Recently, the definition of retaliation has been expanded to include those instances when the employer believes an employee will soon engage in a protected activity.
How Do Companies Avoid Consequences When Firing An Employee?
Employers often come up with a supposedly legitimate reason for firing the employee, usually poor performance or a policy violation. This is called the pretextual reason for the termination, and this pretextual reason is what you need to prove false in order to win your lawsuit. Not only do you have to prove that the pretextual reason was false, but you also have to prove that the real reason for your termination was an illegal reason. Employers have been known to paper your file with documentation of the poor performance or policy violation, and it is our job to prove that this documentation is really borne out of a retaliatory or discriminatory intent.
Can I Lose My Job For Requesting Breaks, Leave, Or Other Changes To A Work Situation Because Of My Medical Condition Or Religious Beliefs?
You should not be subjected to any type of adverse employment action because of physical disabilities, medical conditions or religious beliefs, as long as you work for an employer with five or more employees, and you make the employer aware of your disability and/or any accommodations you need.
Religious organizations are allowed to discriminate and choose only employees that match their religious beliefs, but they cannot discriminate against someone because of a physical disability, or other non-religious protected conditions.
For more information on Workplace Retaliation And Your Rights, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 630-1500 today.