Employer Retaliation Attorney: Employer Retaliation Law Guide

Has your employer taken action against you because you stood up for your rights, the rights of others, or the laws that govern your profession? If so, your employer may have illegally retaliated against you. You may be able to make a case against your employer and claim compensation.

 Employer retaliation can be difficult to understand. You should speak to a lawyer before you take any other action so that you can learn about your options from an expert. Before you schedule your consultation, it may help you to understand the laws involved.

The information below will help you understand what employer retaliation is, what forms it may take, and what factors may determine the outcome of your case.

Table of Contents

  • What is employer retaliation?
  • Common kinds of employer retaliation 
    • Discrimination or harassment claims
    • Fair labor standards act claims
    • Whistleblowers
    • Joining a union
    • Seeking due benefits
  • What does an employment lawyer look for in a retaliation case?
    • Do you have evidence of employer retaliation?
    • What loss have you suffered as a result of the employer retaliation?
    • Are you a credible witness?

What is Employer Retaliation?

Employer retaliation (also known as workplace retaliation) is a type of unlawful discrimination that happens when employers take action against employees for engaging in protected activity

Retaliation may take many different forms, including some that are more subtle than others. You may be experiencing retaliation if you have been targeted with any of the following after making a report:

  • Verbal harassment
  • A reduction in pay or benefits
  • Demotion
  • Unfavorable work assignments or conditions
  • Termination
  • Any adverse treatment that directly follows a report of harassment

It may help you to understand some of the most common reasons that employees are exposed to retaliation, and why these reasons are considered to be illegal.

Common kinds of Employer Retaliation

Many employees face retaliation because they participated in:

  • Discrimination or harassment claims
  • Fair labor standards act claims
  • Whistleblowers 
  • Seeking due benefits

Discrimination or harassment claims

Discrimination and harassment claims can be serious for employers. Accusations may expose them to significant amounts of liability. As a result, they may take action against employees who are involved in reports.

They may target:

  • The employee who made the report
  • Employees who agree to be witnesses in complaints
  • Employees who comply with formal investigations into the complaints

The right to report discrimination or harassment claims is protected by law. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits retaliation, and claims may be handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and private lawyers who represent employees.

Fair Labor Standards Act Claims

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs many important workplace conditions including minimum wage and overtime protections. Employers may retaliate against employees who:

  • Request information about the legality of pay practices
  • Discuss the legality of pay policies with other employees
  • Make formal complaints regarding wage payments
  • Seek compensation benefits that are required by law or contract

The right to report illegal labor or hiring practices is protected by law. The Fair Labor Standards Act expressly forbids employers from retaliating against employees who exercise these rights.


Whistleblowers are those who report illegal practices to either internal or external authorities. Employers may illegally retaliation against anyone involved, including:

  • The employee who compiled the report
  • Any employees who provided evidence for the report

The right to blow the whistle about discriminatory or dangerous workplace practices is protected by law. More than 20 different statutes protect employees who report illegal behavior by public and private employers.

This is not a complete list of the reasons that employees may be subjected to retaliation. They may face adverse actions from their employer for doing any of the following: 

  • Reporting Discrimination
  • Raising the Issue of Unpaid Overtime
  • Blowing the Whistle Internally or Externally
  • Seeking to Exercise FMLA leave rights
  • Taking Pregnancy Medical Leave
  • Exercising a Protected EEO Activity
  • Raising the Issue of Unsafe Working Conditions

If you are facing retaliation for engaging in any behavior, it may help you to understand what to do first. There are some ways that you can prepare for legal assistance, and improve your chances of a successful complaint.

What does an Employment Lawyer look for in a Retaliation Case?

The possibilities of a retaliation case are based on a lot of factors. Employment lawyers may be able to help you get justice more easily based on any of the following:

Do you have evidence of employer retaliation?

Evidence plays a major role in any legal claim. If you can prove that the action you’re facing is retaliation, it may be possible to resolve any legal actions in your favor more easily. If you can, preserve any of the following types of evidence.

  • Any email messages, memos, or other documents that threaten you with retaliation
  • Testimony from other employees and supervisors who have witnessed the behavior

What loss have you suffered as a result of the employer retaliation?

The scope of your case may depend on the losses that you can prove you have suffered. Your losses may include any wages lost from suspension, termination or withheld promotions.

Speak to an Employment Lawyer Now

If you believe that you have faced retaliation and experienced losses because of it, you may need to speak to a lawyer now. Employment lawyers have a significant amount of experience dealing with issues like these.

Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after you experience retaliation. You may have only a limited amount of time to make your claim. A lawyer will be able to help you figure out these time limits, and what steps to take next.

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A situation that involves attorneys is emotional - Mike Lore is an attentive listener and really helped me come to the terms of my situation. He used his understanding of the law to construct a case that was grounded in fact and skipped the needless 'finger-pointing' and 'he-said/she-said' back and forth. Mike's professionalism with me (the client) and the opposing attorney moved the case forward quickly with a successful result.

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