Wrongful Termination & Retaliation

2 06, 2017

How Employers May Attempt to Disguise Unlawful Retaliation

By | 2017-06-02T21:21:11+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Employers who try to “get back” at workers who complain may be violating the law Many workers don’t complain about potentially unlawful activity at work for one simple reason: they’re afraid of what will happen next. Will they get fired? Demoted? Will the boss start breathing down their necks? Will their coworkers alienate them? While these are all valid fears, it’s important to know that some kinds of retaliation are unlawful under federal law. That means there’s no need to suffer in silence, or to put up with dangerous or degrading behavior. If you’ve been scared to speak up about an upsetting and potentially unlawful situation at work, or if you already complained and are now experiencing negative consequences as a result, it’s important to know how the law addresses retaliation. What Does the Law Say About Retaliation? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is unlawful for employers to retaliate or “punish” employees or job applicants who have asserted their rights to be free from discrimination and harassment. Asserting your rights is considered a “protected activity.” After you have participated in a protected activity, federal law then generally offers protection from retaliation. You may assert your rights [...]

27 01, 2017

Can You be Fired for Backing a Coworkers’ Discrimination or Harassment Claim?

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:58+00:00 January 27th, 2017|Uncategorized, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What all employees need to know about retaliation Many people are afraid to complain about potentially unlawful treatment for fear of losing their jobs. That same impulse may also keep people from speaking up on behalf of their coworkers. Under federal law, it’s generally unlawful for a company to retaliate against employees who oppose illegal activity. However, that’s not always enough to deter supervisors from trying to “get back” at employees who draw attention to problems. Let’s take a look at what all workers should know about unlawful retaliation. What is Retaliation? In simple terms, employers are generally prohibited from punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights under federal equal opportunity laws. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employees are generally protected from retaliation after: filing or participating in a discrimination charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit communicating with a supervisor or manager about employment discrimination, including harassment answering questions during an investigation of alleged harassment refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others requesting accommodation of a disability or for a religious practice asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages. Different Forms [...]

22 12, 2016

Manager Forced Woman to Shake Hands with Harasser, Then Fired Her

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:58+00:00 December 22nd, 2016|Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Woman wins $300K in retaliation lawsuit If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment at work, chances are that you deliberated for a while before you reported it. If so, you’re not alone. Many people worry that their jobs may be on the line, or that no one will believe them. Some people even fear that they’ll be accused of inciting the harassing behavior. While these things can and do happen sometimes, it’s important to realize that the law offers protection from retaliation after you’ve made a complaint about inappropriate behavior on the job. Let’s take a look at a recent case, in which a female worker fought back after being fired over her sexual harassment complaint. Late Night Propositions Over several years, Maria Gracia worked her way up through the ranks to assembly line supervisor at Sigmatron International, Inc. Gracia reported to Patrick Silverman. Things were peaceful and professional between Gracia and Silverman for several years. But then something changed. According to Gracia, Silverman began emailing her pornographic images. One of the images allegedly contained a superimposed photo of Gracia’s sister’s face. Even though the emails were upsetting to her, Gracia says that she was afraid to file a [...]

17 11, 2016

How Do I Sue My Employer? What Employees Need to Know About the Legal Process

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:58+00:00 November 17th, 2016|Americans with Disabilities Act Claims, Family and Medical Leave Act Claims, Hostile Work Environment, Pregnancy Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages, Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What you need to do and when Filing a lawsuit against your employer can be a daunting process, especially if you’ve never had to navigate the legal system before. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably going to spend some time doing Internet research before you pick up the phone to call an attorney. While being informed is a great impulse, it’s also important to realize that the sooner you speak to an attorney, the more likely your complaint is going to come out to a successful conclusion. You may thinking, “Well, sure … you’re attorneys so of course you’re going to say that.” But the truth of the matter is that if you’re even considering filing a lawsuit against your employer, everything you say and do from that moment on can potentially be included in the suit. Creating a consistent and legally sound narrative from the beginning can be a significant advantage when facing off against an employer – especially if that employer has deep pockets. Let’s talk about what steps you need to take if you believe that you’ve been subjected to unlawful behavior or practices.  While it’s important to acknowledge that every situation is unique, [...]

11 10, 2016

Boss Caught Groping Underage Staffer on Surveillance Camera

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:59+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Restaurant manager had a long history of harassing young, pretty servers Imagine if your boss directed you to only hire women who are “screwable.” According to a recent lawsuit, that’s the order supervisors at one Texas Roadhouse restaurant were allegedly given. The restaurant manager’s affinity for young pretty servers was an open secret, according to a group of female servers who recently sued the company. They claim that women who complained about his lewd behavior suffered retaliation. However, in the end, the women achieved justice. Let’s take a look at what happened here and then discuss what you need to know about unlawful retaliation. Power Play In his position as a managing partner at an Ohio Texas Roadhouse, Eric Price enjoyed an impressive title and a comfortable salary. He also enjoyed the power that came with his position. Former employees of the restaurant claim that Price frequently propositioned young female servers. As they tell it, Price would imply that the women would lose their jobs if they didn’t comply with his requests. According to the lawsuit, Price directed supervisors to evaluate job candidates on whether or not they were “screwable” enough for Price to take back to his apartment. Several [...]

15 09, 2016

Woman Complained About Unequal Pay, so Company Sued Her

By | 2016-09-15T19:18:50+00:00 September 15th, 2016|Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What employees need to know about unlawful retaliation It’s unfortunate but it’s true: Many employees simply put up with unlawful behavior from their employers out of fear. They’re afraid that if they complain they’ll be fired or their managers will make their lives miserable. That’s why it’s important to know that federal law provides protection from retaliation. Essentially, that means that if you make a complaint and wind up with the proverbial target on your back afterwards, you may have legal recourse. One recent case illustrates how retaliation can play out and what workers can do if it happens to them. Called Out Unequal Pay Tera Lopez was a project manager at Hobson Bearing International. She suspected that women were not being paid equally with men who were doing the same work, so she complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigated and then Lopez filed a lawsuit against the company. Not long after that, the company filed a counter-suit against Lopez. The charge: malicious prosecution. Lopez went back to the EEOC. This time, the agency sued Hobson on her behalf, claiming that the company retaliated against her because of her complaint. The company lost. In its [...]

7 09, 2016

Yes, You Can You be Fired for Your Political Social Media Posts (Sometimes)

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:59+00:00 September 7th, 2016|Employment Agreements, Hostile Work Environment, Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

What workers need to know about their rights to free speech online You can’t get on most forms of social media these days without seeing something about the upcoming election. But with so many discussions around hot-button issues such as race, religion, and equality, you may wonder if airing your opinions on social media could get you into trouble at work. Let’s take a look at some things you should know about how your online activities could impact your job. Freedom of Speech Many people have the mistaken belief that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affords a right to free speech that allows citizens to say whatever they like without fear of repercussions. That’s only partially true. While the First Amendment does contain some language protecting freedom of speech, the amendment stops short of protecting all language. For example, speech that incites lawless action is generally not protected. It’s also important to note that the First Amendment mainly pertains to the government’s role in free speech. Generally, the amendment is intended to protect people from being silenced, jailed, or otherwise punished for putting forth certain ideas. However, the right to free speech generally does not bar companies from [...]

28 07, 2016

Woman Claims Boss’s Retaliation Caused Her to Have a Stroke; Jury Awards her $3.2M

By | 2017-07-29T08:41:59+00:00 July 28th, 2016|Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

Four female employees say they were targeted for complaining about their supervisor Filing a complaint against a superior, especially one who is in an extremely powerful position, can be scary. Even though the law offers protection from retaliation after making a complaint about unlawful activity, employees often fear that they’ll be fired or have to face other consequences that could make their working lives extremely unpleasant. That’s what happened to four female police officers who took a stand against their supervisor. After being subjected to subtle and not-so-subtle retaliation, the women sued. Recently, the court awarded them a massive victory. Let’s take a look at what happened in this case and then discus the many forms that unlawful retaliation may take. Your Career Stops Here Lt. Annica Hagadorn, the highest-ranking African-American female in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, felt that her career had hit the proverbial “glass ceiling.” She claims that she was repeatedly and unfairly passed over for opportunities for advancement that were extended toward other officers, so she filed a discrimination complaint. After that, she says, her working life suddenly took a downturn. She was reassigned from her local patrol to a post at a jail that was [...]

7 07, 2016

Can You Be Fired Over a Personality Conflict? What You Need to Know About At-Will Employment

By | 2016-07-07T20:06:28+00:00 July 7th, 2016|Employment Agreements, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

How at-will employment can be used to disguise discrimination Can you be fired simply because your boss doesn’t like you? While the concept may seem unfair, it’s not necessarily unlawful. Many states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are at-will employment states. That means that unless a narrow category of exceptions applies, employers generally have the right to terminate employees at any time, for any reason – or even for no reason at all. Similarly, that also means that employees generally have the right to resign at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, with or without notice. However, it’s important to know that some employers may use the at-will doctrine to terminate employees for discriminatory reasons. Let’s take a look at who is and isn’t an at-will employee, and how some unscrupulous employers may attempt to misconstrue the concept to get away with unlawful behavior. At-Will Doesn’t Apply to Everyone There are some important exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine, including: Employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. These workers are usually protected by special clauses that spell out permissible reasons and procedures for termination. Civil service workers. They may be covered by provisions [...]

25 11, 2015

Should High School Football Coach be Fired for Praying After Games?

By | 2017-07-29T08:42:02+00:00 November 25th, 2015|Workplace Discrimination, Wrongful Termination & Retaliation|0 Comments

School employee suspended after refusing to stop 50-yard line invocations The game was over at Bremerton High’s football stadium outside of Seattle. Some team members headed toward the locker room, but others joined assistant coach Joe Kennedy near the 50-yard line. Kennedy knelt down in the middle of the throng, closed his eyes, and began his familiar post-game prayer for the last time. “Lord, I thank you for these kids and the blessing you’ve given me with them. We believe in the game, we believe in competition, and we can come into it as rivals and leave as brothers.” Kennedy had been saying that prayer, or some variation of it, on the 50-yard line after every Bremerton game since he was hired in 2008. Players sometimes joined him, as did spectators and even players and coaching staff from the opposing teams. But a few weeks ago, someone made a call to the school board, and Kennedy was ordered to stop his post-game prayers. He refused. After the game on October 16, the man who had become an unintentional lightning rod in the debate over school prayer was placed on paid administrative leave. Did the school board do what it had [...]