Employee's rights when employer retaliation occurs

Louisiana employees understand that everyday in the workplace is not perfect. While it is common to have a stressful day, some experiences should not exist in the work environment. One of these experiences is mistreatment by an employer. If an employee is mistreated for a protected activity, such as reporting illegal activities in the workplace, an employee might have legal remedies for retaliation carried out by an employer.

There are various reasons an employer might retaliate against an employee, but retaliation commonly occurs when adverse action is taken against a covered individual during their engagement in a protected activity. If an employee witnesses acts of discrimination, unfair treatment or illegal activities, an employee is cover by whistleblower protection.

Despite these protective rights, some employers will retaliate against an employee when they engage in this protected activity. This commonly comes in the form of termination, refusal to hire, denial of promotion, threats, unjustified negative evaluations and other unlawful treatment in the workplace.

Employers frequently carry out these acts of retaliation when an employee files a charge for discrimination, participates in a discrimination proceeding, is opposing discriminatory acts or is reporting other forms of illegal activities in the workplace. If adverse actions are carried out against a protected individual when they carryout a protective activity, an employee could file a whistleblower action against an employer.

If an employee loses their job, suffers mistreatment or endures other unlawful changes in the workplace for exercising their whistleblower rights, they could seek damages for the losses they suffered. Those unsure if they are a victim of retaliation or do not know how to move forward with a claim should seek guidance about their legal rights and remedies.

Source: eeoc.gov, "Facts About Retaliation," accessed on Jan. 26, 2015

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