Overview on Illegal Retaliation

Many individuals in the United States have progressed in their understanding of the wrongs of illegal discrimination and harassment, and we -- despite our growing pains -- have made much progress over the years.  However, a person need only watch the news, attend a sporting event, watch television or read a best-selling book to realize that the desire for revenge permeates our existence.  Our history demonstrates that revenge has and will continue to be a part of the human condition, as it has been described in the Holy Bible, the writings of William Shakespeare, and it is put on display in the movies, talk shows, and news programs that air every day in this country.  

Fortunately, for those persons who report wrongdoing by others, many of our laws prevent persons from exacting revenge against the person reporting the violation.  Some of the laws preventing revenge (officially called “retaliation”) include, but are not limited to, the following:

The main question is -- how do you know whether you have been the victim of illegal retaliation?  One of the easiest ways is if the person making the employment decision says something that immediately suggests that an illegal factor entered into the decision-making process (i.e. “We do not want people who are disloyal here” or “I do not trust you anymore since you made that report”).  However, in most cases illegal retaliation is much harder to spot.  Because of this difficulty, it is important to pay attention to many of the same clues that the courts look at when trying to determine whether illegal retaliation entered into an employment decision.  Some of those clues are as follows:

These clues are not always easy to find, and sometimes require the filing of a lawsuit to root out.  In addition, legitimate business decisions can sometimes appear to be retaliatory, when they in fact are not.

If you have a dispute relating to this workplace issue and you believe the situation would best be resolved through mediatoion, please contact us by email. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

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