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Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore

Wrongful Termination Attorneys for Workplace Complaints

Home Wrongful Termination Termination for Workplace Complaints

No one understands the problems at your workplace better than your co-workers, so when issues arise or unfair treatment occurs, those coworkers are often the people you go to discuss these issues, whether you are looking to vent or you are trying to organize some action.

However, some employers look upon these actions as employees being “troublemakers.” Fortunately, the law protects many of these actions as “concerted activities.”

Connecticut Concerted Activities Lawyer

If you were fired or faced negative employment action, like a demotion or other disciplinary action, due to workplace complaints you made to coworkers, you may have a cause of action for retaliation against concerted activities. The law protects the rights of employers to organize, including against unsafe conditions or unfair treatment. The Hartford concerted activities lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can represent you in a case against your employers. Complete our online form today so that we can review the details of your case.

We represent employee throughout Connecticut, including in Milford, Bridgeport, Stamford, Waterbury and New Haven. We are based in Hartford.

Key Issues in Concerted Activities Cases

If you believe you may have faced negative employment action, such as wrongful termination, or retaliation for concerted activities, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you make a complaint about a condition, pay, benefit, treatment or other workplace matter, or about a supervisor?
  • Did you make the complaint to other employees?
  • Does the issue affect employees other than you?
  • Were you fired or disciplined after making the complaint?

If you answered “Yes” to all the above questions, you  might have a claim against your employer. A Connecticut wrongful termination lawyer can help you make that claim.

Connecticut Concerted Activities and the Law

Section 7 of the National Labor Relation Act gives employees the right to engage in “concerted activities” that are undertaken with the purpose of collective bargaining or for mutual aid or protection. The right is contained in the same section that gives employees the right to form and join unions.

A “concerted activity” generally means two or more employees acting together, however, it can also mean a single employee if he or she involves other co-workers before taking any action, or if he or she is acting on behalf of others. The actions must benefit other employees — not just the employee acting.

For example, Michael is one of several copywriters working for a large marketing company in Manchester. Michael discovers that the copywriter pay at his company is under market. One day, he goes to lunch with three other copywriters and tells them the fact. He says the pay is unfair, given the level of experience at the company, and that his department’s director lacks the clout in the company to get a bigger budget. He encourages the other copywriters to email a vice president to complain. The next day, Michael is fired. He may have a claim for protected concerted activities.

On the other hand, if Michael complaint was limited to the fact that he and he alone was underpaid, and that his department director is at fault, he likely will not have a claim, even if his employer specifically fired him for his comments. The proposed actions would help no one but himself.

Company Handbooks and Concerted Activities

The rules of many employers are included in company handbooks. Handbooks often contain rules about how workplace complaints are to be handled. Frequently, the complaining person is required to go through a supervisor. These complaints are often cited as reasons for firings in cases that involve protected concerted activities.

For instance, Rose works as a construction worker at a site in Bridgeport. She notices that certain safety procedures are not being followed at the site, and mentions the problem to some of her fellow construction workers. Her supervisor points to a rule in the company handbook that employees are to bring complaints to the site manager, and terminates her. Rose may have a claim for retaliation for protected concerted activities.

Social Media and Connecticut Workplace Complaints

People often take to social media to air their grievances with issues in their life, including about work and their jobs. Unfortunately, unless privacy settings are set just right, it’s often possible for the employer to see such remarks. These comments, however, may be protected by law.

In a case from Connecticut, a paramedic was employed by an Emergency Medical Service company in Hartford. She had a disagreement with her supervisor, and complained about it on Facebook. Other employees commented, joining the discussion. The supervisor saw the remark, and the paramedic was terminated. The National Labor Relations Board took the paramedic’s side and filed a complaint. The company settled with the paramedic.

Connecticut Attorney for Workplace Complaints

If you’ve been fired, or faced other negative employment action because of complaints you made about your pay, workplace safety, your supervisor or other issues on the job, you may have a claim for retaliation against protected concerted activities. Our Hartford concerted activities lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can represent you. Contact us today by filling out our online form.