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Can I Prove Retaliation at Work?


Retaliation is an unpleasant experience that no employee ever wants to go through. Unfortunately, it can happen and employees have rights if it happens to them.

What is Retaliation at Work?

Retaliation in the workplace is when an employee is treated poorly after reporting discrimination or harassment in the workplace. The negative impact an employee could face includes demotion, another form of discipline, or termination from their job. The negative result does not necessarily need to be a physical impact — if the employee is impacted negatively in an emotional or mental capacity, that could also be defined as retaliation.

What is Needed to Prove Retaliation?

There are three main components to a retaliation case:

  1. Protected Activity — this is when an employee does an action such as the following:
    - Filing a complaint, investigation, or a lawsuit in an equal employment opportunity charge;
    - Telling a manager or supervisor about employee misconduct or discrimination;
    - Not participating in an action that would result in discrimination of another employee;
    - Not allowing sexual advances towards you or intervening to protect others from sexual; and,
    - Answering questions about alleged harassment at the workplace.
  2. Negative Action — this is the negative impact you’ve felt because of your participation in a protected activity.
  3. Causation — this is proving that the two actions above are related. For example, someone would need to prove that they participated in a protected activity, such as filing a complaint regarding an equal employment opportunity charge, and was then fired from their position.

A key piece of proving retaliation is evidence. This could be emails, letters, or even personal notes you made before, during, or after the adverse action took place. If someone else has witnessed the retaliation taken place, it’s important for them to make note of what they saw too.

When you’re ready to make a retaliation claim against your employer, it’s essential to have an experienced team of attorneys on your side. At HDR Law we’ve helped thousands prove retaliation against their employers. When hiring our team, we can assist you with:

  • Recovering lost wages;
  • Recovering lost benefits;
  • Getting your position reinstated; and,
  • Punitive damages, to name a few.

Reach our team today at (404) 341-4434 to get started and see how we can help you.