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Employers can't retaliate against employees for protected actions

Employers should never violate laws or regulations that govern its activities. When an employee knows that something illegal is going on, they might opt to file a report. This often comes with some concern because they aren't sure how the company will react. While it is possible that someone from the company will act in an undesirable manner in response to the complaint, they should never do this because it is illegal.

There are federal laws offering protection to employees who file factual complaints against their employer. No employer is allowed to retaliate against an employee who files a report against the company or another employee, and there are other protected actions that can't result in retaliation.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation occurs when the employee has to deal with negative impacts to their employment because of something that the employee does that was in response to an illegal situation. This may create a hostile work environment and can make the employee fear for their job safety. It can include demotions, changes in shift schedules, moving to a different location, being given a pay cut or even termination.

Employees can't face treatment that other employees aren't subjected to. This means they can't be threatened or scrutinized more harshly than others. They also can't be given more difficult work conditions just because they filed a complaint.

What actions are covered?

Besides filing a factual complaint about illegal activities, there are some other points that shouldn't result in retaliation. These include failing to follow orders that would lead to someone being discriminated against or not allowing sexual advances. You also have coverage if you step in to help someone who is being discriminated against or harassed.

Employees also can't face retaliation for making complaints to a supervisor or manager about sexual harassment or other situations that shouldn't happen in the workplace. Asking for reasonable accommodations for a disability is also a protected action.

Workers who face retaliation often have a difficult time proving that the situation occurred. It is imperative that anyone who thinks they have faced this problem takes the time to learn their options. Filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is one of the first steps you may need to take. From there, you can determine how to handle the matter based on the outcome of the EEOC investigation.

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