Being treated differently at work or threatened with termination after reporting harassment, discrimination, or safety issues? Retaliation may be to blame. While retaliating against workers is expressly prohibited, sadly, it isn't uncommon. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation is involved in more than half of the roughly 70,000 complaints the agency receives each year.
Retaliation comes in many different forms in the workplace—and while some types may be glaringly obvious, the more subtle varieties are just as common and potentially even more dangerous. Here's what you should know about West Virginia employment retaliation cases, including how to recognize retaliatory actions and how our exceptional team of attorneys can help you hold your employer accountable.
Workplace Retaliation Is Against the Law
Federal EEOC laws, as well as the West Virginia Human Rights Act, prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for engaging in protected acts, such as:
- Rejecting unwanted sexual advances
- Reporting sexual harassment/hostile work environment
- Reporting unsafe working conditions
- Requesting accommodations for disability or pregnancy
- Reporting patient abuse
- Applying for workers' compensation benefits
- Reporting understaffing at a hospital or other medical facility
- And others
Recognizing On-the-Job Retaliation
While overt acts of retaliation—such as swiftly terminating an employee who had just reported harassment or discrimination—can and do happen, it's a lot more common for employers to engage in the type of subtle behavior that leaves you second-guessing yourself. Examples of workplace retaliation include:
- Assigning you less desirable shifts
- Scheduling you to work with your harasser
- Reduced hours
- Pay cuts
- Subjecting you to increased scrutiny
- Denying you training or advancement opportunities
- Giving you poor performance reviews that are undeserved
- Excluding you from meetings, office functions, activities made available to other employees
- Making your job or position more difficult
- Failing to take prompt corrective action after a report of harassment or discrimination
These are just a few of the many actions that may be considered retaliatory. Not sure if the treatment you're experiencing qualifies? Our experienced employment attorneys can help.
What to Do If You're Facing Retaliation at Work
Working in an environment that's safe and free from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation is your legal right. Don't suffer in silence. If you're being harassed, discriminated or retaliated against, or subjected to a toxic working environment, report it.
- Facing retaliation from a fellow employee? Tell a supervisor or company owner, or report it to the human resources department.
- Facing retaliation from a supervisor or business owner? Report it to a different supervisor or company owner, the human resources department, or a company complaint hotline.
We Can Help You Hold Your Employer Accountable
Your employer is responsible for ensuring a safe workplace that's free of unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Whether they're the source of the retaliation, or you're being retaliated against by someone else at your company, the highly skilled legal team with Bailess Law Firm can help you hold your employer accountable and recover the damages you deserve. Depending on the facts and evidence in your case, you may be able to collect damages for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, and other losses. In rarer instances, judges and juries may award an additional kind of damages—known as punitive damages—to punish employers for particularly egregious conduct.
Talk to Us About Your West Virginia Employment Retaliation Case
Federal and West Virginia employment law is complex and complicated, and holding an employer accountable for unlawful conduct can be challenging. You need compassionate, caring, and capable attorneys to level the playing field and fight tirelessly on your behalf. Fortunately, you've come to the place. Download our book It's Not Your Fault: How to Fight Back Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and contact Bailess Law Firm today for a free initial review of your Mountain State employment retaliation claim.