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When may I file a lawsuit for retaliation?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | workplace discrimination |

Firing an employee as an act of retaliation violates federal employment laws. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website notes that employees may submit complaints without fear of punishment. If you complain about discrimination, your employer cannot fire you for doing so.

Retaliatory actions may also include spreading rumors or allowing a hostile workplace to develop. If your schedule or work duties changed after your complaint, your supervisor may have made the change hoping that you quit to avoid firing you.

Why may an employer want me to quit my job?

A retaliatory termination related to your complaint may result in your filing a legal action against the company for damages. As noted by Business.com, a jury may order your employer to pay you for lost wages, benefits and your emotional distress. If you quit, however, a company may have a way to defend itself against a claim of misconduct.

As noted by the U.S. Department of Labor, a worker’s resignation may result from a company making an employee’s work conditions intolerable or allowing a hostile environment to exist. The U.S. DOL refers to this as a “constructive discharge,” and it may require greater effort to prove your claim.

Could an employer allow a hostile environment to exist?

By reporting a misdeed, a supervisor or manager must address the issue and correct it. When the problems continue or become worse, your employer creates a hostile work environment. An employer cannot allow a hostile environment to continue or cause you to quit.

The law protects you when you report wrongful conduct at your workplace. If you blow the whistle on discrimination, your employer cannot act against you or encourage coworkers to mistreat you. You have a right to file legal action if your employer wrongfully terminates you or if workplace conditions force you to resign.