Employers can handle their employment practices in pretty much any manner they choose as long as they are within the confines of the law. One area that they must comply with strict regulations on is retaliation. No employer is legally able to allow retaliation in their company.
Retaliation refers to any negative employment action that is based on a protected activity. There are many activities that can’t lead to any form of retaliation. The key point for all employees to remember is that it isn’t going to be easy to prove that you were retaliated against.
The protected statuses that apply to retaliation don’t mean that you can’t be terminated for other reasons. If you don’t do your job as you should, it is possible for them to let you go. Your employment record can be very important in these cases because it can show the history of how you have performed. If that record is good and then all of a sudden, you are terminated or have other negative actions taken against you, there is a chance that you have been retaliated against.
Some of the protected activities that shouldn’t result in negative employment actions include:
- Making a complaint about harassment or discrimination
- Cooperating with an investigation into discrimination or harassment
- Refusing to follow specific orders that result in illegal activities
- Requesting accommodations for a protected status like a disability
- Resisting sexual pressure at work or trying to protect others from it
- Filing a complaint against the company regarding illegal activities (whistleblowing)
Employees who think that they are being retaliated against can take steps to rectify the situation. This is a very serious matter that must be stopped in its tracks.