A strong retaliation claim or case typically involves an employee who has experienced an adverse action(s) from their employer. This could include sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, unfair treatment, or any other type of workplace retaliation.
Retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse actions against an employee for asserting or standing up for their legal rights in the workplace. To build a strong workplace retaliation claim, several key factors should be present:
- Protected Activity: Common examples of a workplace retaliation claim include:
- Reporting discrimination or workplace harassment.
- Complaining about illegal activities or unethical conduct within the company.
- Asking for reasonable accommodations for a disability.
- Exercising an employee’s rights under labor laws (such as filing a workers’ compensation claim or participating in union activities).
- Participating in a workplace investigation, such as providing information to HR or regulatory agencies.
- Adverse Action: There must be clear evidence of adverse actions taken by the employer as a response to the protected activity. Adverse actions can include:
- Termination or firing.
- Pay cuts.
- Unwarranted disciplinary actions.
- Negative changes in job responsibilities or conditions.
- Harassment or hostile work environment.
- Retaliation Case Causation: To establish a strong workplace retaliation case, the employee must demonstrate a link between the protected activity being done and the adverse action against them. The timing of events and any direct evidence of retaliation, such as emails or witness statements, can be important to prove retaliation in the workplace.
- Documented Evidence: Strong retaliation cases often involve solid documentation. This includes records of the protected activity, any written complaints or reports, emails, text messages, and other relevant communications. Maintain a detailed record of events related to the protected activity retaliation.
- Witnesses: Witnesses who can corroborate your account of employer retaliation events can be invaluable. Coworkers, supervisors, or others who observed the protected activity or the subsequent adverse actions can provide critical testimony.
- Consistency in Treatment: If you can demonstrate a significant change in your treatment following the behavior of a protected activity, it can strengthen your case. For example, if you were previously treated well but faced retaliation after reporting sexual harassment, the case can be strengthened.
- Legal Consultation: It’s always smart to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. The attorneys with Lawyers for Justice, PC can help you assess the strength of your case, provide legal guidance, and represent your interests throughout the process.
- Documentation of Damages: If you suffered financial losses, emotional distress, or other damages as a result of retaliation or employment discrimination, keep records and documentation of these damages. This includes medical records, therapy bills, pay stubs, and other financial losses.
- Company Policies and Procedures: Familiarize yourself with your employer’s policies and procedures for reporting and addressing workplace issues, including retaliation. It’s best to follow the company’s processes if you want to prove retaliation or an adverse action.
- Persistence: Pursuing a retaliation case can be a lengthy and challenging process. Stay persistent and focused on the goal of seeking justice for the retaliation you’ve experienced. The attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC (LFJ) have experience proving adverse action from employers. The employment law attorneys at the firm help employees recover lost wages caused from discrimination or harassment and take retaliation claims seriously.
Retaliation laws can vary by jurisdiction and can be complex. Consulting with an LFJ employment attorney who specializes in retaliation cases is crucial to navigate the legal process effectively and increase your chances of success. They can help enforce state and federal laws opposing discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, and other legally protected activity.
Damages in an employment law retaliation case refer to the compensation or monetary awards that a victim of retaliation claims may be entitled to receive as a result of the harm they suffered due to the retaliatory actions of their employer. These damages are intended to compensate the victim for their losses and to deter employers from engaging in unlawful retaliation. The specific types and amounts of damages that may be available in a retaliation case can vary depending on the circumstances and applicable laws. Here are some common types of damages in retaliation cases:
- Back Pay: Back pay represents the wages and benefits that the employee would have earned if they had not been subjected to retaliation. This includes any missed salary, bonuses, overtime pay, and other fair compensation that the employee would have received.
- Front Pay: Front pay is an award of future wages and benefits that the employee is expected to lose as a result of the retaliation under California law. This may be awarded if the employee cannot return to their previous position or if their career advancement opportunities have been significantly affected.
- Emotional Distress Damages: Retaliation can cause emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and other psychological harm while one tries to carry out their job duties. Victims may be entitled to compensation for the emotional suffering they experienced as a result of the retaliation.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are intended to punish the employer for particularly egregious or willful acts of retaliation. They are not always available and depend on the specific laws of the jurisdiction.
- Attorney Fees and Costs: If the employee wins a retaliation lawsuit, the court may require the employer to pay the employee’s attorney’s fees and litigation costs.
- Compensatory Damages: Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the victim for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the retaliation. This can include costs related to job searches, medical expenses, and other financial losses.
- Nominal Damages: In some cases, even if the victim did not suffer significant financial harm, the court may award nominal damages to recognize the wrongful nature of the retaliation.
It’s important to note that the availability and amount of damages can vary depending on the specific laws and regulations governing retaliation in your jurisdiction. Additionally, the strength of your case and the evidence presented can influence the outcome and the damages awarded.
If you believe you have been a victim of retaliation in the workplace, it’s essential to consult with an experienced employment attorney who can assess your case, guide you through the legal process, help gather evidence, and help you pursue the appropriate damages to which you may be entitled.
Retaliation – FAQ
how much is a retaliation lawsuit worth? Retaliation settlement amounts can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of each case, with some settlements being significantly higher or lower than $20,000.
how to file a retaliation claim? Filing a retaliation claim can be done by the employee. The State of California Department on Industrial Relations offers a comprehensive checklist.
how long does a retaliation lawsuit take? There is no easy way to predict the duration of an employment law case like retaliation, but sometimes it can take up to several years. However, the pay-off is sometimes worth the effort.
can i sue my employer for retaliation? Employees, former employees, or job applicants who believe they have suffered retaliation or discrimination may file a retaliation complaint.