Retaliation is among the most common forms of employer misconduct. An employee reports sexual harassment, or fraud or racial discrimination and finds herself or himself fired or facing other negative consequences at work. An employee chooses to exercise the right to family medical leave and finds the position terminated in the interim. A worker files a claim for a workplace injury and is let go for missing work. Employers can fire workers for a wide variety of reasons, but they cannot retaliate against workers who choose to exercise their rights. An employee who has been the victim of retaliation should consider filing a lawsuit.
According to Equal Employment Opportunity laws, retaliation is "when an employer unlawfully takes action against an individual in punishment for exercising rights protected by any of the EEO laws." The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not handle all types of retaliation, but a significant percentage of the claims it handles are based on these allegations. EEOC data shows that 43 percent of the bias charges it handled for private sector employers were based on accusations of retaliation.
The balance of power between employers and employees is the result of years of public policy, lobbying and enough history to fill countless books. An abusive employer can make your life hell. Unless you are one of the fortunate few who can leave your job, totally confident of getting another just as good, you face a difficult decision in deciding when enough is enough. That decision might depend on your rights as a worker. In the United States, your rights likely fall far short of those in other nations. Employers face some restrictions, but it is important to understand what you need to show to win a battle in court.
The public has an interest in finding out when businesses are breaking the law. The people most likely to have that information are employers of the company in question. In an effort to encourage public disclosure of wrongdoing, New Jersey passed the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). CEPA is sometimes referred to as a whistleblower statute. Blowing the whistle on your employer was, prior to the passage of CEPA, a good way to end up fired. The statute works to protect workers by preventing employers from taking adverse job actions, including wrongful discharge, termination, demotion or transfer in retaliation. CEPA gives workers the right to recover damages, including attorney's fees, if the company does retaliate. Until recently, however, it was not clear whether CEPA extended to workers whose job duties included identifying health and safety risks.
For employees here in New Jersey, it is time to fire up your time machines because workers' rights are under attack. Just like bellbottom jeans once swung back around into style, discrimination against and silencing workers is back on the rise. Of course, it was to be expected that such an attack would come from corporate America, insurance companies and the conservative right wing. But now, those attacks are coming directly from the judiciary where new requirements are being read into laws that never existed when they were passed by the legislator.
Being dismissed from a job for any reason can certainly impact your financial stability. In some cases, termination negatively impacts a person's reputation, impeding one's ability to seek future employment.
Or..."Court darns hole in SOX"
The English language is not as easily understood as some people may think. The grammatical rules that give sentences meaning are detailed and complicated. The choice of a word or the placement of a comma can change the meaning of a sentence entirely.