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Retaliation against employees can be illegal

by | Nov 7, 2016 | employee rights, Firm News |

Pennsylvania workers who believe that their employers have violated their rights sometimes file complaints. When they do, some employers retaliate against them and fire, demote or punish them in another way. Retaliation against employees for asserting their rights is illegal under federal law.

In one Texas case, two restaurant owners thought that their cook had reported them for underpaying their workers. An investigation had revealed that the restaurant had shorted their workers by about $25,000. After the investigation, the restaurant owners fired the cook, believing that he had been the one who reported them. The cook sued the restaurant for unlawful retaliation.

According to the Department of Labor, the cook was not the person who filed the complaint against the restaurant and its owners. The agency said that even if he had, it would have still been illegal for the restaurant to retaliate against him for exercising his rights. The restaurant owners were forced to settle the cook’s lawsuit and lost a reliable, longstanding employee in the process. The man had worked for the restaurant for 13 years.

People who exercise their employee rights to file complaints may not be retaliated against for doing so. Employers may not retaliate against workers even if their complaints are dismissed. People who have suffered from retaliation from their employers because they filed complaints for such things as wage violations, discrimination, sexual harassment or other things may want to talk to employment law attorneys in order to see what recourse they may have. The U.S. Department of Labor has jurisdiction over issues regarding wage and hour violations.