It is not lawful for an employer to take adverse employment action against an employee for engaging in a protected activity. The elements of a claim for retaliation are 1) the employee was engaged in a protected activity, 2) the employee suffered an adverse employment action, 3) and there is a causal link between the activity and the adverse employment action. This means that when an employee engages in a protected activity, employers are not permitted to demote, fire, reduce the employee’s hours, force the employee to quit, or otherwise adversely target the employee in retaliation.
Protected activities may include refusing to commit an illegal act, organizing for purposes of collective bargaining, complaining about health and safety concerns, complaining about sexual harassment or discrimination, as well as other activities. If you have questions regarding whether something is considered a protected activity, you should contact an employment attorney.
Once a prima facie retaliation claim is asserted by an employee, the burden then shifts to the defendant to articulate a legitimate reason for its actions. If the defendant is able to articulate such a reason, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the reason was a pretext for a retaliatory motive. Steiner v Showboat Operating Co.
If you have questions about your retaliation claim, please call Law Office of Nathan Reese to speak with an attorney.