Thursday, October 3, 2013

Understanding How to Prove Retaliatory Termination

Retaliation simply means an action that is made out of revenge. In employment, retaliation usually happens when an employer punishes you in any way or form for doing what is right, such as reporting the employer’s unlawful conduct.

If you are an employee, you are entitled to your right to report to the appropriate employment agency your employer’s engagement in an illegal activity. However, if you do so complain and you have been subjected to an adverse employment action such as termination, then you may have a case of retaliatory termination or discharge. It is also possible that you may be subjected to discrimination or harassment before getting fired.

You can only be protected under various federal laws if you already filed your complaint of discrimination or harassment with your employer’s human resources department but wasn’t able to address it. There are a lot of federal laws that protect you from getting terminated in retaliation for doing what is right, such as the following:

•    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
•    Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);
•    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
•    Equal Pay Act (EPA); and
•    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), among others.

Under these laws, current and former employees are protected from retaliation. There is also no need to prove that you were treated differently in employment because of being a member of a protected group like your race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.

Moreover, under federal employment laws, your employer cannot retaliate against you if you engaged in a so-called “protected activity.” One example of a protected activity is when you refuse to obey an order you believe is illegal under the prevailing laws, or you filed a complaint citing discrimination or harassment in your workplace. You cannot also be subjected to retaliatory termination if you participated in an investigation, hearing, or lawsuit against your employer’s perceived illegal activity.

In order for you to establish a valid claim of retaliatory termination, you must not only prove that you were engaged in a “protected activity,” but you believe that your termination is connected to it. The best way to fully establish your claim against your employer is to seek the expertise of a Los Angeles employment lawyer.

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