Workplace Retaliation in NJ
Federal law protects an employee if there is a complaint about workplace harassment or discrimination. Even though most people are aware that there are laws to protect employees from discrimination and harassment, many don’t know that these laws also protect employees from retaliation. Therefore, an employer cannot punish an employee for making harassment or discrimination complaints or participating in an investigation at the workplace.
Workplace Harassment and Discrimination in New Jersey
Federal law protects employees from retaliation whenever they make a complaint, whether internally or to an external body, about workplace discrimination and harassment. The employees remain protected even if the claim turns out to be unfounded as long as the claim was made in good faith.
Employees who serve as witnesses in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations or litigations are also protected under the law. Additionally, Federal laws protect other types of whistleblowers such as those who make complaints about unsafe working conditions.
What is Retaliation in the Workplace?
Retaliation only occurs when the employer punishes an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity. The retaliation can include any adverse job action such as firing, demotion, discipline, salary reduction, or shift or job reassignment. However, retaliation in some cases can also be more subtle. In such cases where the employer’s action cannot be easily classified as retaliation, you must consider the circumstances of the situation.
A good example is a change in job shift that may not be objectionable to many employees. However, it could be very detrimental to parents with young children and a flexible schedule.Therefore, as long as the employer’s action would deter a reasonable person in this situation from making a complaint, then the employer’s action constitutes illegal retaliation in NJ.
New Jersey Retaliation in the Workplace
It is sometimes hard to tell if your employer is retaliating against you. A good example is when you complain about harassment behavior by your supervisor, and their attitude and demeanor change toward you. If the change becomes more professional and isn’t as friendly as before, that isn’t retaliation. The changes can only be considered to be retaliatory if they have an adverse effect on your employment.
On the other hand, if you suffer from negative employment decisions such as firing and demotion after making a complaint, then you have a reason for concern. The retaliation can also include unfair or unsatisfactory performance review, sudden exclusion from staff meetings on a project you have been working on, or even the boss micromanaging everything you do.
What To Do If You Suspect Workplace Retaliation
In case you suspect retaliation against you by your boss, you can speak to the human resource manager of your organization about the reasons for the negative actions. It is important to ask objective questions when you suspect retaliation.
Your employer may have a perfectly reasonable explanation for their actions. For example, you may be moved to the night shift because there is an opening, or your poor performance review may be as a result of documented problems you had been told previously.
In the case where your employer can’t give a legitimate explanation, then you should voice your retaliation concerns. It is with no doubt that your company will deny it. As a matter of fact, employers retaliate even without realizing it.
At The Law Office of Benjamin Friedman, we help our clients file a retaliation claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or their state’s fair employment agency.
New Jersey Retaliation Lawyers
The Law Office of Benjamin Friedman takes pride in offering compassionate legal representation in workplace retaliation cases in New Jersey. We try to show, with no reasonable doubt, the link between our client’s complaint and the employer’s retaliatory behavior. Contact us today for more information on the steps to take if you are involved in New Jersey workplace retaliation.