Springfield, Massachusetts, Employer Retaliation Attorney
Working with Individuals Who Have Been the Victim of Employer Retaliation in the Springfield Area
Employers are prohibited by law from retaliating against workers who engage in certain protected activities, including filing a complaint workplace harassment and refusing to engage in illegal or unethical conduct. If you believe you have been subjected to employer retaliation in Massachusetts, you should speak to an attorney immediately. You can have a Springfield employer retaliation lawyer review your case to determine whether you can file a claim by filling out our online questionnaire.
As an employee of your company, you have certain rights. These rights include the right to receive time-and-a-half payment for hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek, the right to be paid at least the state minimum hourly wage, the right to work in an environment free from discrimination, the right to take action if you are subjected to discrimination or harassment from your colleagues or supervisors, and the right to engage in a variety of protected activities.
When an employer attempts to “punish” an employee for exercising his or her workplace rights, it is known as an act of retaliation and is prohibited by federal and Massachusetts law. Individuals who are the victims of such retaliation can take legal action against their employers to hold them accountable for the violation of law and any losses the employee suffered as a result.
If you believe you were the subject of unlawful retaliation in or around Springfield, MA, a dedicated employment retaliation lawyer at the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore is here to help. Please contact our office to discuss your legal rights and options today.
What Are My Rights in the Workplace?
The following are some examples of protected activities and rights of employees. If your employer takes an adverse employment action against you for exercising one or more of these rights, you may likely be a victim of retaliation.
If you meet the qualification criteria, taking up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to care for a sick family member or bond with a newborn or adopted child under the Family and Medical Leave Act;
- Joining or starting a labor union;
- Requesting reasonable accommodations so you can perform job duties that would otherwise be limited by your disability or religious needs;
- The right to be paid for every hour you work;
- The right to be paid at least the state minimum wage and unless you are exempt, overtime pay for overtime hours;
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim if you are hurt on the job;
- The right to work in an environment that complies with OSHA’s health and safety standards for your industry;
- The right to engage in all other protected activities.
Protected activities are activities for which an employer cannot terminate or otherwise discipline an employee. In most cases, these are tied to the employee’s rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act dealing with employee discrimination. Protected activities in the workplace include:
- Making a sexual harassment or discrimination claim;
- Providing testimony to support a co-worker’s sexual harassment or discrimination claim;
- Discussing your discrimination experiences with co-workers or human resources;
- Attempting to gather information to determine if discrimination has occurred; for example, asking colleagues and supervisors about individuals’ compensation packages to discern if discriminatory pay disparities are present in the workplace;
- Picketing or protesting at a company about its unethical or discriminatory practices as long as the protest does not impede the company’s ability to operate or its employees’ ability to get to and from work and perform their jobs;
- Acting as a whistleblower – an individual who reports illegal or unethical behavior to government or industry authorities;
- Refusing to follow orders to engage in illegal, unethical, or discriminatory behavior.
Examples of Employer Retaliation
Employer retaliation can take many forms, and some examples include the following:
- Disproportionate disciplinary action of the employee when compared with colleagues and their similar offenses
- Transferring the employee to a less desirable position, branch of the company, or department
- Making a false accusation or defamatory statement about the individual
- Giving the employee poor performance reviews despite his or her continued good work
- Any other type of adverse employment action
Sometimes, retaliation is not an outwardly obvious gesture but a more subtle change in treatment of the individual. He or she might be left out of meetings and social events with the company or face cold, standoffish, or even aggressive treatment at work. Sometimes, this is done to push the employee toward resignation. Even if the employee chooses to resign, he or she can still have grounds for a retaliation claim if he or she can demonstrate that prior to the resignation, he or she was subjected to poor treatment by colleagues and supervisors.
If you believe your employer is acting unlawfully, it is important to document everything, as you will need evidence to support your retaliation claim. Take note of every interaction with your employer that you perceive to be retaliatory and document it along with the date and context of the interaction.
In some cases, you may be able to resolve the matter by discussing your concerns with the human resources department at your work. However, in too many situations, an HR department will be protective of the company and may try to provide justification for the adverse actions against you. If HR is not properly responsive, you should not wait to call a highly experienced employment retaliation attorney.
An employment lawyer can help you in many different ways if you suspect that you have been the victim of retaliation. For example, our legal team will evaluate your situation and advise you whether we believe that retaliation occurred and advise you of your rights and options to hold your employer accountable. We will then determine the value of the losses you incurred due to a demotion, pay decrease, termination, or emotional distress suffered because of mistreatment at work. We will help you through every step of the process of seeking compensation for all of your losses.
Work with an Experienced Springfield Employment Retaliation Lawyer
You have the right to exercise your rights without the fear of retaliation from your employer. If you are a victim of retaliation and you suffer financial damages as a result, do not hesitate to find out more information about how you can seek compensation for these damages. We work with clients throughout the Springfield, Massachusetts area and also maintain offices in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut. You can have an experienced Springfield employment attorney review your case by filling out our online questionnaire or by calling our office today at 413-417-7035.