Employer Retaliation Attorney in Springfield, Missouri
Employment retaliation is a pressing concern. It's a situation no employee should have to face. Yet, when it does occur, understanding the complexities and navigating through the legalities can be overwhelming. But remember, you don't have to do this alone. Lampert Law Office, LLC — located in Southwest Missouri and serving Springfield, Greene County, Christian County, Joplin, Branson, Carthage, Neosho, Monett, Ozark, Republic, Lamar, Ridgedale, and more — understands the challenges you're facing and stands ready to fight for your rights.
What Is Retaliation?
Retaliation is an adverse action an employer takes against an employee as a response to the employee engaging in a legally protected activity. These activities could include reporting discrimination in the workplace, filing a complaint about wage violations, or participating in an investigation. The forms retaliation can take are varied, such as termination, demotion, pay reduction, negative performance evaluations, or even creating a hostile work environment.
Causes of Employer Retaliation
Employer retaliation typically stems from a desire to punish an employee for actions that the employer perceives as harmful to their interests. This could be due to an employee reporting unsafe working conditions, filing a complaint about harassment or discrimination, or whistleblowing on illegal company practices. In some cases, an employer might retaliate out of fear that the employee's actions could damage the company's reputation or result in financial loss. Additionally, personal vendettas or biases could also play a part in motivating an employer to retaliate.
It's important to note that these actions, regardless of the employer's motivations, are illegal and employees have the right to seek legal remedy for any retaliatory actions taken against them.
Types of Retaliation
Retaliation can manifest in various ways, and it's crucial to recognize the signs. Here are some common types:
Termination: The most severe form of retaliation. If you are fired shortly after reporting a legal violation, it could be a sign of retaliation.
Demotion: This involves a sudden decrease in your job level, responsibilities, or prestige following your participation in a protected activity.
Pay Reduction: If your employer reduces your pay without a clear, fair reason, especially after you've engaged in a protected activity, it might be retaliation.
Negative Evaluations: Unjustified poor performance reviews following your involvement in a protected activity can be a sign of retaliation.
Creating a Hostile Work Environment: This could involve bullying, isolation, or increasing your workload unrealistically. If these behaviors escalate after you've reported an issue, it may be retaliatory.
Denial of Promotion: If you've been passed over for a well-deserved promotion, particularly following a protected activity, it may indicate retaliation.
Exclusion from Meetings or Projects: If you're suddenly left out of important meetings or projects without a valid reason, it might be a sign of retaliation.
Remember, the key to identifying retaliation is to look for negative changes that occur shortly after you engage in a protected activity. If you notice such changes, it's advisable to reach out to a legal professional for guidance.
A protected activity under employment law is any action taken by an employee that is legally protected from employer retaliation. These may include but are not limited to the following:
Filing a complaint: If an employee files a complaint regarding discrimination, harassment, or wage violation within the company, it is considered a protected activity.
Reporting illegal conduct: Whistleblowing, or reporting the company's illegal practices or misconduct, is a protected activity.
Participation in an investigation: Assisting or participating in an investigation or lawsuit related to employment practices within the organization is a form of protected activity.
Opposing discrimination or harassment: If an employee opposes or speaks out against discrimination or harassment in the workplace, it is considered a protected activity.
Asking for reasonable accommodation: Requesting reasonable accommodation for a disability or religious practice is also a protected activity.
Remember, any form of retaliation from the employer against an employee for engaging in these protected activities is unlawful. If you believe you're facing retaliation for participating in a protected activity, it's essential to consult with an employment attorney who can guide you through the process to protect your rights.
Proving retaliation might seem challenging, but it isn't impossible. The onus of proof lies with the employee. They must present substantial evidence to support their claim. To establish a case of retaliation, several elements need to be demonstrated. First, the employee must show they engaged in a protected activity. This can be done by providing documents such as emails, reports, or witness statements. Second, the employee needs to prove that the employer took adverse action against them. Performance evaluations, disciplinary records, or witness testimonies can serve as evidence. Lastly, the employee has to establish a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action taken by the employer.
A whistleblower is someone who exposes illegal or unethical activities within an organization. These individuals play a crucial role in holding employers accountable for their actions. Like retaliation, whistleblowers are protected by law when engaging in a protected activity. However, it's important to note that participating in a protected activity does not exempt employees from the consequences of poor performance or misconduct. Whistleblowing should be done in good faith and based on genuine concerns about illegal or unethical behavior.
Employer Retaliation Attorney in Springfield, Missouri
If you find yourself facing employer retaliation, seeking the help of an experienced attorney is critical. Raymond B. Lampert at Lampert Law Office, LLC, situated in Southwest Missouri, is committed to representing employees who have been subjected to retaliation. Understanding the intricacies of these cases and dedicated to fighting for your rights, this is the law firm ready to stand by your side. Call today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards seeking justice.