Employee Retaliation

Definition

Employee retaliation is punishment of an employee by an employer for engaging in legally protected activities such as making a complaint of harassment or participating in workplace investigations. Retaliation can include negative job actions such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or job/shift reassignment.

Common activities that may incite retaliation include refusing to commit illegal acts despite your employer’s request to do so, taking a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), filing a claim against your employer with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaining to your employer regarding workplace discrimination/harassment, whistleblowing against your employer in an effort to thwart fraudulent practices, filing for workers’ compensation benefits, and/or participating as a witness in a legal case against your employer.