Workplace Retaliation: What Are Your Rights?

a worried worker

Employees often refrain from filing complaints or claims in the workplace because they fear getting retaliated against by their employer. What most employees don’t know is that there are state and federal laws that protect them from retaliation.

If you are experiencing workplace discrimination, harassment, or you’d like to report a crime that is being committed, you can do so knowing that your employer can’t retaliate against you. If they do, they can face serious consequences.

What Is Considered Workplace Retaliation?

Workplace retaliation occurs when an employer punishes a worker for engaging in “legally protected activity.” Legally protected activity often includes filing claims or reporting a crime, such as fraud, to the authorities. Employers cannot take action against you for engaging in something you are legally allowed to do.

Unfortunately, workplace retaliation laws don’t prevent employers from acting against workers. Common forms of retaliation include:

  • Demotion

  • Disciplinary action

  • Firing

  • Salary reduction

  • Job or shift reassignment

In some cases, retaliation can be more subtle. For example, even though an employer can shift your schedule, it could be considered retaliatory if they know that it could be detrimental to a parent with a tight schedule.

How Can Retaliation Laws Protect Me?

Although employers know that there are strict employment retaliation laws, it doesn’t always stop them from partaking in retaliatory behavior against a worker. If you believe your employer retaliated against you, you can exercise your employment rights by filing a claim against them. Filing a claim can help you get the compensation you deserve; for example, you can receive the funds you would have received if your employer had given you the raise you rightfully deserved. Filing a claim can also deter your employer from retaliating against another employee again in the future.

If you are facing workplace retaliation, contact our Kentucky employment law attorneys today at (502) 890-9954 to schedule a consultation!

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