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What Is Employee Retaliation?


Did you stand up for yourself or a coworker because they were being harassed? Or did you point out illegal activity at work? Were you retaliated against for doing so? Employee retaliation is illegal. Ohio state law and federal employment laws prohibit bosses or employers from taking revenge against a worker who was within their rights, and it is within your rights to stand up against discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of military status, color, race, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability is against the law.

Strength is needed to stand up to wrongdoers. You have a right to fight back if you were mistreated for reporting discriminatory practices or illegal conduct. If you have experienced employee retaliation, a Columbus employment attorney can help protect your rights.

What Is a Protected Activity?

When employment lawyers talk about protects activities, they are talking about when an employee complains to an employer or informs an employer of an unlawful harassment or discrimination. Examples of protected activities include the following.

  • Reporting alleged discrimination to human resources
  • Refusing to comply when a request is discriminatory
  • Telling an employer you are moving forward with a discrimination charge or lawsuit
  • Picketing due to discriminatory practices
  • Agreeing to be a witness in another’s employment discrimination investigation

In order for the activity to be protected, it must be established the employee was acting reasonably. When behaviors unreasonably impact a workplace environment, the claim can become more complex. There are times when protections are not applicable, discussing your situation with an attorney is a path toward resolution.

Are There Different Forms of Retaliation?

Yes, Ohio employers have demonstrated a variety of different forms of employee retaliation. There are times when a person is demoted because of their actions or denied a promotion. In other situations an employer may refuse to renew an employee’s contract or give the worker assignments that are not desired. Increased employer scrutiny and poor performance reviews are also common in retaliation cases.

Of course, there are times when bad reviews happen. Not every negative experience is a strong retaliation claim. What needs to be proven is that your employer is treating you in a different manner after you engaged in activity that was protected. That the abrupt adverse treatment, whether it was unjustified negative evaluations or threats of termination, was a direct result of you being involved in a protected activity.

Timeframes for anti-retaliation claims can be short. Discuss your case with a Columbus employment attorney as soon as possible. There are specific steps for filing and cases can be complex. Work with a seasoned attorney to protect your rights. After having the courage to stand up and alert your employer of discriminatory practices or illegal activities, you deserve to have an experienced lawyer fighting for you.

Are you experiencing employee retaliation at your Ohio workplace? Contact the lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC today. We are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.


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