Often, employers will attempt to retaliate against an employee who speaks out about unfair workplace practices. To combat discriminatory workplaces and unfair wage paying employers, the federal government has defined a list of protected activities. These actions protect employees who wish to take action against an employer who has engaged in discriminatory or unfair wage practices.
Protected activities include:
If you wish to file a claim against an employer for any of the above, it is best to speak with a qualified workplace retaliation attorney prior to doing so. The legal professionals at Barkan, Meizlish LLP will pair you with a employment retaliation lawyer to assist you in your case.
What Constitutes Workplace Discrimination?
Employment discrimination is defined as the unfair treatment to employees or potential employees based on age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, military status, race, pregnancy, religion, or national origin. Employees are granted legal rights based on these protected characteristics. They are backed by a substantial number of employment laws and acts established by federal and state governments.
Unfortunately, many employees still face discrimination in the workplace every day. Whether it is during the hiring process, in promoting or demoting employees, or in the termination of company personnel, discrimination exists. It’s important to remember your rights as an employee. It is equally important to understand what the government defines as workplace discrimination. If you believe your workplace has taken discriminatory action against you or another employee, contact Barkan, Meizlish LLP.
Ohio’s minimum wage for 2019 is $8.55 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.30 per hour for tipped employees. For an employee to qualify as tipped, they must make at least $30 per month in tips individually, no matter how many hours they worked that month. It is unlawful to pay any employee less than the state mandated wages. However, instances in which employers do not follow these laws do occur.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all public and private employers to pay “non-exempt” employees at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their regular hourly rate for any work over 40 hours in a week. The Ohio Minimum Wage Fair Standards Act, also protects non-exempt employees, and mandates they be paid at least minimum wage and overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours per week.
When Do I Need a Workplace Retaliation Attorney?
If your employer has engaged in any of the unfair workplace practices listed previously and you have spoken out against said practices, you may be in need of a workplace retaliation attorney. Employers have been known to retaliate against employees who bring discriminatory or unfair wage practices to light.
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for engaging in a protected activity. If you wish to pursue unlawful retaliation litigation, your workplace retaliation lawyer must prove:
Employee rights in the workplace are protected from discrimination and harassment, but it is important to talk about what happens after a claim is brought forward. Whether a discrimination or harassment claim was made internally — such as to a company’s human resource department — or externally to the EEOC or another federal or state organization, it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you.
Furthermore, employees are protected from retaliation even if they are not the ones who brought a claim forward against their employer. Any employee who participates in an investigation by providing witness statements, testifying, or aiding in the investigation of a claim against an employer has various protections under the law.
Retaliation can be very subtle or incredibly direct. Subtle forms of retaliation might include barring employees from meetings that directly correlate to their work, or decreasing/increasing their workload or hours until the employee decides to quit or can no longer perform his or her essential job functions. Direct retaliation might be firing an employee for not being a “team player” upon an employer’s discovery that the employee brought discrimination or harassment claims against them.
It is equally important when pursuing action against an employer understand what retaliation is not. A manager or supervisor’s change in demeanor to a more professional attitude toward an employee who participated in a protected activity — like bringing forward claims or participating in an investigation — is not considered retaliation.
Opposing unlawful practices is also protected by anti-retaliation laws. An employee can oppose any practices of the employer that they believe is unlawful under the EEOC. This means directly voicing concern or implicit opposition against harassment or discrimination by the employer.
If you are unsure of what retaliation is, be sure to consult with a employment retaliation lawyer to help you determine if you experienced retaliation and can make a claim.
Working with a Retaliation Lawyer
If you believe you are experiencing retaliation from your employer, it is imperative that you consult with an employment retaliation attorney. If left unchecked, retaliation could damage your standing with a company or cost you your livelihood.
If you believe your employer retaliated against you, contact Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP. Our proficient team of retaliation attorneys will be able to review your case with a free consultation, help you determine if you are experiencing pervasive retaliation, and determine what your options are moving forward. Do not allow your employer to take advantage of your situation or scare you into not bringing forward claims of illegal or unlawful activity in the workplace.
It may be difficult to figure out what evidence to gather and how to compile documentation if you believe you are experiencing retaliation at work. Having an experienced employment law and retaliation attorney guide you through your options will greatly assist you in recovering compensation and lost wages.
To see if you qualify for workplace retaliation protection, contact the legal professionals at with Barkan Meizlish DeRose Cox, LLP. Call us today at (614) 221-4221 or reach us via email for a free consultation.
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