Standing up for yourself takes courage, whether you’re dealing with friends, family, or your supervisor at work. It’s frightening to “rock the boat,” to confront or disagree with other people because you’re never sure how they’ll react. Will you face retaliation?
This might be a legitimate concern in your social circle. But if you’ve filed a discrimination complaint against your employer, or complained directly to your employer, the law protects you against retaliatory action.
In addition to forbidding discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, and religious beliefs, federal Title VII law and its state counterpart, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), forbids employers to take retaliatory action against employees who’ve alleged this type of discrimination.
For example: If you and your workplace sexual harassment lawyer in South Jersey have filed a complaint against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and your employer then fires you or docks your pay, that’s the foundation of a possible lawsuit if you can prove the disciplinary action resulted from your complaint.
Illegal retaliation doesn’t just apply to official complaints with state or federal agencies. Employees who have complained informally to their supervisor or employer about discrimination still can prove a Title VII or NJLAD violation if they can demonstrate that they were subsequently punished in retaliation.
What should you do if you think you’ve been the victim of retaliation?
- Schedule a meeting with Human Resources. You might not be able to iron out the problem, but meeting with your company’s HR officer and communicating your concerns to a third party can help you determine whether further action is necessary. But, remember, the Human Resources department represents the company’s best interests, not yours.
- Document everything. Take notes. Save pertinent emails. Sit down and write out a timeline of events, including as many details of the situation as you can remember. Remember, in a Title VII or NJLAD lawsuit, it’s crucial to show that your employer knew about your discrimination complaint and took action against you because of it.
- Don’t air your grievances publicly or on social media where your employers or anyone associated with them can read your unfiltered thoughts and potentially use them against you. This is extremely important in an era when everything we say online can be accessed and captured by anyone.
The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, PC recommends consulting with an attorney if you feel you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination or retaliation. Being treated cruelly or unfairly at work can drag down your entire quality of life, and you shouldn’t have to deal with it alone. To consult with a workplace sexual harassment lawyer in Gloucester County, NJ, or the surrounding areas, contact us today!