Many people understand that their performance at work can lead to promotions, raises and other positive employment actions. For this reason, many employees try their best to get the job done in a way that meets or exceeds the current standards. These individuals work hard and shouldn't be subjected to any type of harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
Unfortunately, some employers don't treat employees lawfully and others don't comply with applicable laws and regulations. When this happens, the employee might speak up against the actions of the employer. This is where some trouble for the employee might begin. Even though it isn't legal to do so, some employers will retaliate against employees who file reports against employers.
When it is lawful for an employee to speak out against an employer?
Employees can speak out against an employer without fear of retribution as long as the complaint is truthful. Employees who don't make truthful reports don't have the protections that other employees have. While this isn't meant to discourage factual complaints from being made, it offers protection for employers from unsubstantiated complaints that could ruin a business.
What types of actions can employers lawfully take after a report?
It is illegal for an employer to take retaliatory actions against an employee who files a complaint against the company. This means that they can't terminate, demote or decrease the working hours for an employee just because of the complaint. They also can't switch the employee to a less desirable position or shift. The only adverse employment actions allowed are those that are the result of job performance issues that would also occur to an employee who hadn't file a complaint against the company. For example, an employer can fire an employee who misses a specific shift without notice, regardless of whether the employee filed a complaint or not.
What can employees do if they experience retaliation?
Employees can take legal action against the employer for retaliatory measures. This might result in the employee receiving missed wages or getting a job back. The actual results will depend on the circumstances of the case and what is desirable by the employee. Some employees might not want to return to the same employer because of the fear of more adverse employment actions, but they might desire a positive review to help them secure a new job. Employees in this position must think carefully about their options.