Whether you've decided to blow the whistle on illegal business practices or you've been injured on the job and claimed worker's compensation, it's important that you understand the basics of workplace retaliation so that you can recognize it if it should happen. The more you understand, the easier it will be for you to take action when it's necessary. Here's a look at what you need to know about business retaliation so that you can reach out to a retaliation attorney if necessary.
Only Certain Things Qualify For Retaliation Protection
Before you can even worry about what qualifies as retaliation, you need to know what qualifies for legal retaliation protection. After all, it doesn't do you any good to recognize retaliation if you can't do anything about it.
The only time you can rightfully consider legal action for retaliation is if the action being retaliated against is one that is protected by law. For example, whistleblower actions, family leave actions, disabilities, and worker's compensation claims are all legally protected, so you cannot legally face retaliation for these things.
You Have To Recognize Retaliatory Actions
When it comes to retaliation, sometimes it can be far more difficult to identify than other actions. For example, it's pretty easy to recognize retaliation if you file a sexual harassment claim and shortly thereafter are terminated for poor performance despite no reports of performance issues previously.
Aside from blatant retaliation like this, many times it is much harder to recognize and prove. Things such as shift changes, supervisory adjustments, and suspensions are all more subtle ways of retaliating for undesirable actions.
Determining that something is retaliatory requires a combination of the timing of the action and a protected action. The retaliation must follow the protected action, and there must be no clear evidence that the action was in process before the protected action was taken to begin with.
You Should Know What Doesn't Qualify
Recognizing retaliatory actions is important, but it is equally important that you understand what does not qualify as retaliatory. For example, if there's evidence that the action was already being planned, such as an upcoming suspension or termination, it may not be considered retaliatory. You can't simply file a complaint when you know that you're about to be suspended in an attempt to prevent the suspension. If the company has documentation that the suspension was already forthcoming, your claim won't qualify.
Additionally, you cannot claim retaliation for something that isn't considered a legally protected action. Make sure you talk with a retaliation law attorney to find out if your situation might qualify. Contact a retaliation lawyer for more information.