There is a range of employment issues that can arise for employees in the workplace, including retaliation. But for employees facing things such as retaliation, it’s always important to know that there are federal and state-level protections that are afforded to employees to protect them from things such as retaliation.
But what exactly does retaliation mean in the workplace in Ohio? Retaliation can occur in different ways for a range of reasons. Below, we take a closer look at what retaliation means in the workplace and how you can handle it.
What Does Retaliation Mean in the Workplace in Ohio?
Retaliation typically occurs after an employee takes part in a protected activity like whistleblowing, filing a complaint of discrimination, or filing a harassment lawsuit against their employer.
Other protected activities include:
- Reporting discrimination
- Requesting an accommodation for a disability
- Reporting or resisting workplace harassment
- Serving as a witness for another employee’s complaint
- Filing for workers’ compensation benefits
Federal and state laws such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide employees with protection to assert their rights through protected activities like the above. Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer chooses to take adverse action against an employee for exercising their rights.
Retaliation can take place in a number of forms including:
- Salary reduction
- Loss of hours
- Loss of benefits such as health insurance, stock options, 401k, etc.
- Threatening an employee with termination, demotion, or disciplinary action
The above are just a few forms that retaliation can take. Employers will often attempt to mask their retaliation with pretextual reasoning to avoid legal consequences, making it all the more difficult to prove that retaliation has happened. The individual taking adverse action against an employee will rarely openly say that they are terminating or demoting an employee because they reported harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
When you find yourself on the receiving end of retaliation, you will need to be able to prove a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.
How to Handle Retaliation in the Workplace in Ohio
If you believe you are facing retaliation in the workplace in Ohio, there are a few steps you can take to start building yourself a strong case.
- Start to collect any and all evidence that you can. This can include documentation around your protected activity, emails, text messages, physical notes from your workplace, photos, and other communication related to the retaliation.
- Keep track of any other relevant information such as work evaluations, workplace policies and guidelines, and the retaliatory action itself – whether you are terminated, demoted, or threatened. This information will be important to have.
- Keep records of the above information at home or on your own devices. It is easy to lose access to records on company-provided devices and work emails.
- Check your employee handbook to see if there are any existing anti-retaliation policies.
- Speak with an employment lawyer from Coffman Legal. We can offer legal advice, explain your rights to you, and look over the evidence you have for your case. We can also help you file an EEOC retaliation charge.
You will need to prove that your employer’s real reasoning behind any adverse action was related directly to your protected activity.
To prove retaliation, you will need to be able to show that you:
- Were engaged in a protected activity.
- That you suffered an adverse action.
- That the protected activity was the reason for the adverse action.
Consult With Our Employment Retaliation Attorneys Today
Workplace retaliation can be an especially difficult situation to handle. If you believe that your employer has retaliated against you in any manner, the Coffman Legal team is here to help. We will help you determine what you can do to protect yourself and how to assert your rights as an employee – whether you have been laid off for whistleblowing or if you have been threatened for partaking in a protected activity.
Please connect with our firm of experienced attorneys online or over the phone at 614-949-1181 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today. Our employment retaliation lawyers are here to help advise you on your case and the next steps.