RetaliationEvery Employee Deserves Respect
Maryland Retaliation Attorneys
Defending Clients Against Illegal Workplace Retaliation
It is a violation of state and federal law to retaliate against an employee for reporting discrimination, sexual harassment, or other wrongdoing. Unfortunately, workplace retaliation is actually one of the most common problems that employment lawyers encounter. If you were the victim of workplace retaliation after asserting your rights, turn to the Law Office of Andrew M. Dansicker, LLC. Our dedicated and experienced Maryland retaliation lawyers can help you file a claim and pursue justice.
What is Workplace Retaliation?
When an employer punishes an employee for exercising their protected employment rights, it is considered retaliation. In most cases, the protected rights involve laws prohibiting harassment, discrimination, illegal workplace activity, and other prohibited actions.
When employees complain—either internally or externally to another body, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—about adverse workplace conditions, they are protected by federal law. Additionally, the law protects workers who participate or serve as witnesses in EEOC cases.
Our Maryland retaliation attorneys have represented clients who have suffered retaliation after:
- Reporting violations to OSHA
- Reporting violations to the Department of Labor
- Complaining about sexual harassment
- Complaining about employment discrimination
- Opposing illegal activity in the workplace
- Participating in union-sanctioned activities
Examples of Workplace Retaliation in Maryland
After an employee takes an action – such as reporting a violation, complaining about harassment, or filing a workers’ compensation claim – the employer could retaliate against the employee in several different ways.
Some common examples of workplace retaliation include:
- Suspension – You remain employed but are asked not to attend work – with or without full pay.
- Demotion – You are assigned to a lower-ranking position and lose the responsibilities, status, and privileges associated with your former position.
- Transferal – You are transferred to another department or location, which causes you undue hardship.
- Reassignment – Your duties have been reassigned or rescheduled in a manner that results in undue hardship.
- Termination – You are fired or let go from your position.
- Exclusion – You are being intentionally barred from staff meetings, training courses, and other workplace activities available to all employees.
- Mistreatment – You are being harassed for exercising your protected rights.
- Other – Loss of hours, reduction of salary, poor performance reviews, or failure to receive an earned promotion.
These actions violate federal and Maryland state law.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Workplace Retaliation
To prove retaliation, you must show that you were engaged in a protected activity, and you experienced some type of action to deter you from engaging in such activity (e.g., terminated, suspended, demoted, etc.). There must be a causal link between your activity and the action your employer took against you because of the protected activity.
Here are several steps to take if you suspect workplace retaliation:
- Talk to your supervisor or a human resources representative – Ask your employer for a legitimate explanation behind their negative acts against you. If your employer cannot provide a good reason, then tell them you are being retaliated against, explain the negative actions that occurred after you filed a complaint, and ask their retaliation against you to stop immediately. If they do not resolve the issue or deny any wrongdoing, you may have to file a claim with Maryland’s Office of Fair Practices or the EEOC.
- Gather evidence – Obtain copies of documents and other paperwork to show that you filed the underlying complaint in good faith, which means on behalf of your well-being or the well-being of others, rather than out of spite or intentionally damaging your company’s reputation. Also, collect any e-mails, messages, or other correspondence proving that you are being retaliated against and ask any witnesses if they are willing to cooperate.
- Hire an attorney – An employment lawyer can examine your case, organize all available evidence, determine all your legal options, guide you through the complexities of the legal process, and protect your rights and best interests from start to finish.
What Makes a Strong Retaliation Case?
A strong retaliation case requires evidence of discriminatory or retaliatory behavior on the part of an employer.
This can be established by:
- showing a pattern of behavior, such as comments or actions that suggest the employer is treating one employee differently from other employees who are similarly situated.
- Includes actions taken in response to an employee's protected activity, such as filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
- Clear and convincing evidence linking the protected activity to the adverse action taken against an employee, such as termination or demotion.
- Establish that the employer's stated justification for the action is incomplete or inaccurate, which can help demonstrate retaliatory intent on the part of the employer.
It is essential to collect and document as much evidence as possible before filing an official complaint or lawsuit.
In some cases, especially where there is limited evidence available, seeking legal advice may be beneficial in order to determine whether a strong case exists and what steps should be taken to protect one's rights. An experienced employment attorney can provide guidance and assistance in gathering evidence, as well as representation during a dispute resolution process or in court.
Putting an End to Retaliation in the Workplace
If you have reason to believe that your employer retaliated against you for any action protected by state or federal law, it is in your best interest to seek advice from an experienced employment law attorney. Our Maryland retaliation lawyers can assess the circumstances of your situation and determine the merit of your potential claim.
Our Maryland retaliation attorneys have extensive legal knowledge and the skill needed to develop a strong case on your behalf. In retaliation cases, you must prove that there was a connection between you speaking out and your employer’s actions. We can gather evidence to demonstrate this connection by observing the timing of the actions, reviewing oral and written statements, and more.
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