The Employment Law Firm Group, Retaliation Attorneys, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

You shouldn't have to choose between your rights and your job. Pennsylvania and federal civil rights anti-discrimination laws only work if employees feel free to file complaints. If you are the victim of retaliation at work because you complained about a civil rights violation, the Employment Law Firm Group can file a lawsuit to protect your rights and compensate you for your loss.

Retaliation Protection in Civil Rights Claims

Retaliation is the single most common civil rights complaint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Every federal civil rights law, from Title VII to the Americans with Disabilities Act, include protections against retaliation. Retaliation happens when an employer takes an "adverse action" against a "covered individual" because of his or her participation in a "protected activity". If they do, the Employee Law Firm Group can file an EEOC complaint or a federal lawsuit to protect you and your rights.

Adverse Retaliation Acts

Employers may not take any action that would keep a reasonable employee from taking part in an employment discrimination proceeding. Depending on your working environment, retaliation can take a lot of different forms, including:

  • Firing or termination,
  • Passing over for a promotion,
  • Refusing to hire,
  • Unfair evaluations or reviews,
  • Negative references,
  • Increased monitoring or supervision,
  • Civil lawsuits,
  • False criminal charges,
  • Assaults, or
  • Threats.

Even if your new employer treats you differently because of complaints against an old employer, you may still be able to file a retaliation lawsuit.

Covered Individuals

Anyone who has opposed unlawful civil rights practices can qualify as a covered individual. You may have filed a complaint, requested an accommodation, or even just spoken out in the workplace. You can also be covered for the behavior someone you have a close association with, like your spouse or child. But in order to file retaliation claims under the federal civil rights statutes, the behavior you are objecting to have to be related to discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability.

Read More: Whistleblower Lawsuits

Protected Activities

You don't have to be the one filing the complaint to get protection against retaliation. Anyone who opposes unlawful discrimination can be covered. Even if you are technically incorrect (the employer's behavior turns out not to be illegal), as long as you reasonably believed the action was illegal, you can be protected. "Opposition" to discrimination is a legal term including:

  • Informing the employer of unlawful behavior;
  • Filing internal complaints;
  • Threatening to file EEOC complaints;
  • Actually filing EEOC complaints or civil lawsuits;
  • Testifying at a discrimination hearing;
  • Picketing or engaging in union activities; or
  • Refusing to follow discriminatory policies or orders.

But you won't be protected if your "opposition" interferes with job performance or making threats of violence or illegal activities like vandalism. The law is designed so employees will use official channels to stop workplace discrimination.

Filing Retaliation Claims

If you are the victim of retaliation, the Employment Law Firm Group can help you file a complaint with the EEOC, or in federal court. If you are able to prove your case, you may be entitled to compensatory damages including lost wages, expenses related to the harm done, and in some cases, emotional distress. Your employer may also be required to pay you punitive damages, designed to punish the company for its illegal behavior. Your attorney fees and costs can be part of the complaint too.

Hire the Employment Law Firm of Pennsylvania

You shouldn't have to suffer retaliation for doing the right thing and opposing workplace discrimination. If you have been the victim of retaliation, contact the Employment Law Firm of Pennsylvania today for a free phone consultation. They will help you stand up to your boss without fear of retaliation.