What is a Retaliation Claim?
Memphis Retaliation Lawyer
Under federal law, it is your right to file a retaliation complaint against an employer. Such a claim could be the result of an employee filing a discrimination or harassment complaint and thereafter that same employee receives an adverse employment action such as a discipline or demotion. A successful retaliation claim has to have the following elements: first the employee must have been a part of a protected activity meaning the employee should have either filed a complaint, have been part of the investigation process, or opposed any unlawful employment practice prohibited by law; second, the employee must have suffered an adverse action such a demotion or termination to the point where a reasonable employee would b scared to file a complaint, and lastly there must be a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. For an employee to have a valid retaliation claim, it’s not enough that he or she engaged in legally protected activity or that the employer took some type of adverse action against her. The employee has to prove that the employer took the adverse action because of the protected activity. Basically, an employee cannot safeguard himself from an adverse employment action simply by making a discrimination or harassment complaint. If an employee should engage in protected activity and then does something that warrants discipline is it retaliatory? The answer is no. Misconduct after legally protected activity breaks the causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action. So, if you engage in legally protected activity like filing a charge, or making an internal complaint of harassment or discrimination, or participating in the complaint process but then follow it up by violating some law or company policy then you could lose your job, followed by losing your retaliation case.
An employee should be on their best behavior after doing anything protected activity. That is the best way to have a strong retaliation case if the employer ever takes action against you.