When are workers at risk of employer retaliation?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2023 | Employee Rights |

Employees in New Jersey have the protection of numerous federal and state statutes. They shouldn’t have to worry about harassment, discrimination or unsafe work environments. Unfortunately, not all employers fully abide by employment laws. Some mistreat their workers, while others may intentionally punish those who exercise their legal rights.

When a company inappropriately punishes a worker for something they have the lawful right to do, the organization has retaliated against that employee. These are some of the scenarios that may lead to illegal workplace retaliation.

Reporting discrimination or harassment

Employees who let human resources or management know about quid pro quo harassment or other forms of misconduct on the job should not have to worry about ending up punished for speaking up for themselves. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens in some cases. Companies that demote, transfer or terminate workers who report harassment and discrimination may have illegally retaliated against that worker.

Requesting unpaid leave or accommodations

There are multiple circumstances in which a worker may qualify for unpaid leave under federal law because of family or health concerns. Workers who develop smell medical issues that limit their job performance may require accommodations to continue their employment. Both those who need unpaid leave in accordance with the law and those that require different job responsibilities or assistive technology because of medical limitations could face retaliation from employers that don’t want to help them.

Unionizing with coworkers

One of the most common reasons that employers seek to terminate or punish a worker is that they engage in unionization or other organization efforts with their co-workers. Discussing wages, organizing to communicate about safety issues and asserting rights outlined under the law or employment contracts should not lead to workers facing punishment or termination.

When the timing of someone’s discipline or job loss makes it seem like the action in question may have been retaliatory, affected workers may want to take legal action to assert their rights. Fighting back against workplace retaliation with the assistance of a legal professional can benefit affected employees by compensating them and other workers by creating consequences for their unscrupulous employer.

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