Unfortunately, contrary to the intent of such laws, employers sometimes retaliate against employees who are merely exercising their protected legal rights. For example, an employer might retaliate against a worker who chooses to take a protected leave of absence, resist unwanted sexual advances, or simply ask questions concerning pay and compensation. When workplace retaliation occurs, such as a retaliatory discharge, the employee may be able to get his or her job back or recover compensation with assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced employment law attorney handling retaliation claims.
At the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi, our New Jersey workplace retaliation attorneys have many years of experience representing workers in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, construction, transportation, and many others, when employers break the law and violate employees’ established rights. If you believe that you or a loved one was a victim of workplace retaliation at a company or agency located in the Northern New Jersey area, we urge you to contact our law offices at (973) 453-4060 for a free legal consultation. Your information will be kept confidential.
WHAT IS WORKPLACE RETALIATION?
Unfortunately, workplace retaliation is pervasive, not only in New Jersey but across the United States. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “Retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination in the federal sector and the most common discrimination finding in federal sector cases.” Retaliation is also widespread in the private sector, occurring at all levels of the corporate hierarchy, against members of all trades and professions, and throughout all industries.
Workplace retaliation takes many different forms but can be broadly described as any statement, policy, or action by an employer which is intended to punish an employee for engaging in “protected conduct” or a “protected activity,” meaning an activity against which retaliation is unlawful. Depending on the circumstances, examples of retaliatory actions might include:
- Assigning more difficult tasks.
- Cutting an employee’s benefits.
- Cutting an employee’s hours.
- Declining a pay raise.
- Demoting an employee.
- Firing an employee.
- Reassigning an employee to a different facility or location.
- Withholding necessary resources or training.
In other cases, retaliation manifests in a more personal, less formal way – for instance, verbally or emotionally abusing the employee, spreading malicious rumors about the employee, or threatening to contact law enforcement or immigration agencies about a matter concerning the employee or one of the employee’s family members. However, the consequences are the same, creating an environment of fear and intimidation.
There are many “protected activities” that may lead an employer to retaliate against an employee in violation of state or federal worker protection laws. Examples of protected actions against which retaliation is unlawful, but which nonetheless frequently trigger retaliation, include:
- Asking for reasonable accommodation for a disability.
- Asking for reasonable accommodation for a religious practice.
- Declining to participate in criminal, fraudulent, discriminatory, or otherwise prohibited practices in the workplace.
- Declining unwanted sexual advances, or otherwise resisting or reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, including intervening to help another co-worker who is being harassed.
- Speaking with co-workers or management concerning wages or salaries.
- Whistleblowing, which refers to reporting, raising concerns about, testifying about, or refusing to participate in unlawful or unethical practices in the workplace.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against employees based on their membership in a “protected class,” meaning a type of employee against whom discrimination is banned by law. For example, it would be unlawful to retaliate against an employee by cutting their pay or reducing their hours simply because the employer learns that the employee holds a religious belief with which they disagree. In addition to religion, which is alternately referred to as an employee’s “creed,” other examples of protected classes include classes based on age, race, gender, color, and national origin.
NORTH JERSEY WORKPLACE RETALIATION ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU FILE A CLAIM OR LAWSUIT
Retaliating against employees who act within their legal rights is prohibited by numerous pieces of legislation. If you suspect that you were fired, demoted, denied a pay increase, assigned fewer hours, or otherwise retaliated against simply for exercising your rights, you should discuss your situation with an employment law attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the reasons for and nature of your employer’s actions, statements, or policies, various remedies may be available. For instance, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against your employer, which could result in the recovery of financial compensation.
However, it is critical that you are represented by a New Jersey retaliation attorney, as employers may use a variety of defenses to deny that retaliation occurred. Without the benefit of aggressive legal representation, it is extremely difficult for employees to prevail in retaliation claims against employers.
At the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi, we are proud to serve the workforce that makes New Jersey run. Our workplace retaliation lawyers for employees have repeatedly obtained favorable outcomes in challenging, complex cases involving small, mid-size, and large businesses. To confidentially discuss your potential claim in a free legal consultation, contact our law offices at (973) 453-4060 today.
Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi LLC.
New Jersey Office:
66 NJ-17 #500,
Paramus, New Jersey 07652