Reporting Unfair Treatment at Work | Employment Discrimination Lawyer

All employees in America have the right to do their job in a safe environment, free from unfair treatment at work. Unfortunately, not all employers live up to this expectation. Instead of providing equal treatment in the workplace, employers often disrespect and discriminate against their employees. At times, they overlook qualified employees for promotions, and even, engage in sexual or workplace harassment.

It’s important to understand that these actions are unacceptable, and possibly illegal. If you experience harassment or discrimination in the workplace, then you may have a claim for damages under law.

Let’s take a closer look at mistreatment at work and how to report your job for unfair treatment.

How do you tell if you are being treated unfairly at work?

The scope and scale of unfair workplace treatment is vast. Any behavior that seems questionable, disturbing, or that makes you feel uncomfortable should result in an investigation.

Mistreatment, even by a colleague, is a common occurrence and a demoralizing experience. Thousands of employees everyday, face harassment, discrimination, and other illegal job-related actions across the United States. You don’t have to stay a victim. Take steps to report the issue and secure your rights under the law.

Examples of Being Treated Unfairly at Work

What is an example of unfair treatment at work? Unfair treatment at any place of employment can express itself in many different ways, from wage discrimination to gender inequality, favoritism, violence, workplace bullying, and verbal abuse. Signs of unfair treatment at work are:

  • Discrimination due to race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic
  • Spreading false rumors
  • Pay disparities despite equal qualifications and experience
  • Refusing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees
  • Any instances of sexual harassment
  • Punishing those who take parental leave by docking pay or terminating employment
  • Laying off older workers to hire new, younger employees at lower pay
  • Facing employer retaliation after resignation or reporting unfair treatment
  • Being wrongfully terminated without reason
  • Forced to work in unsafe conditions

What is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of federal legislation that revolutionized workplace rights in the United States. This crucial part of the Civil Rights Act focuses on preventing employment discrimination and promoting equality in the workplace.

The Essence of Title VII

  • Prohibition of Discrimination: Title VII explicitly prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This covers a wide range of employment practices, including hiring, firing, promotions, salary, and training opportunities.
  • Creating an Inclusive Work Environment: The Act was designed to create a more inclusive and fair work environment for all, ensuring that employees are judged on their abilities and qualifications rather than personal characteristics unrelated to job performance.

Enforcement and Compliance

  • Role of the EEOC: The enforcement of Title VII is primarily handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints, mediates disputes, and enforces the laws against workplace discrimination.
  • Legal Recourse: Under Title VII, employees who face discrimination have the right to file a complaint with the EEOC. If the EEOC’s intervention doesn’t resolve the issue, employees can pursue legal action in federal court.

Expanded Protections

  • Sex Discrimination: While Title VII originally prohibited discrimination based on sex, its interpretation of protected classes has expanded over time. For instance, it now includes protection against sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination.
  • Religious Accommodation: Title VII also requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices unless doing so would cause undue hardship on the business.

Impact on Employers

  • Policies and Training: Employers are encouraged to develop and enforce policies that promote a discrimination-free workplace. Regular training and awareness programs can help in preventing violations of Title VII.
  • Liability for Discrimination: Employers can be held legally responsible for discriminatory practices, whether intentional or due to neglect in enforcing non-discriminatory policies.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 remains a cornerstone in the fight against workplace discrimination. It not only provides a legal framework for addressing grievances but also fosters a culture of equality and respect in the work environment. Understanding Title VII is essential for both employers and employees to ensure a fair, productive, and legally compliant workplace.

What do you do if you are mistreated at work?

Many workplaces have a formal complaint system for these issues. To ensure that documented evidence exists of a formal complaint, it is important to report any problematic actions that happen on the job. Usually, this step of reporting unacceptable or unprofessional behavior happens with your manager or Human Resources.

That being said, we encourage you to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible, even better if you do it before submitting the complaint. A labor and employment attorney can help you submit a well-documented report. Should the situation evolve into a lawsuit, you will then have a stronger case.

Document the Event

  1. If you received mistreatment, the first step is: document the event as thoroughly as possible. Record the date, time, details, and names of everyone involved. Do the same for subsequent cases, if and when they occur. Document the information during or directly after the event so the details are as accurate as possible.
  2. Next, save copies of memos or emails that exhibit illegal or unfair practices.
  3. To support your claim, the last step is: ask witnesses to record their observations of what happened to support your claim.

All additional evidence you gather can help your eventual legal case. It is not uncommon to file a lawsuit against an employer, so don’t be nervous. This is your right.

How to Report Your Boss for Unfair Treatment

File a Complaint with Human Resources (HR)

Report instances of unfair treatment to the Human Resources Department (or another authority figure in management). The formal letter of complaint should describe the event completely, but concisely. Stay on target and include only information relevant to the event. Alerting HR to the problem is usually a required step if you plan to later file a lawsuit.

How to Write a Formal Complaint Letter

In the formal complaint letter, you may:

  • Identify helpful actions that can lead to a resolution.
  • Refrain from making threats or getting angry.
  • Keep a calm demeanor and offer reasonable solutions where appropriate.

If the complaint ends up becoming a legal matter, any poor behavior on your part could be used against you. As such, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney for guidance before you file a complaint.

How to Report an Employer for Unfair Treatment

If you’re facing unfair treatment in your workplace, it’s essential to know the right steps to take to protect your rights. One effective course of action is to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination and can be a powerful ally in your quest for justice.

Understanding the Role of the EEOC

The EEOC’s main role is to investigate discrimination claims against employers. Whether you’re facing issues related to race, gender, age, disability, or any other form of discrimination, the EEOC can step in to assess your situation.

If your complaint escalates into a discrimination claim, the EEOC or your attorney can help you navigate the legal process. They can advise you on the likelihood of success and what to expect as your case progresses.

Remember, reporting unfair treatment is not just about addressing your personal situation; it’s about ensuring a fair and equitable workplace for everyone. The EEOC and legal professionals are there to help you stand up against injustice and seek the resolution you deserve.

File an EEOC Complaint

An employee that has been subject to any type of job discrimination or mistreatment may also file an EEOC complaint. The EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accepts complaints filed in person or by mail with the nearest office. In addition to victims, witnesses of unfair treatment can also file a formal complaint.

Include the following information in your documentation:

  • Personal details of the person mistreated. Include their full name, number, and address.
  • Name and contact information for the employer the complaint is against.
  • Description of the unfair events and the dates they happened.

To prevent the situation from escalating further, speak up. If you feel like your complaint is not being addressed, or that you can’t speak with management at your work, talk with an employment attorney for legal advice on how to proceed.

Filing a Complaint with the EEOC

  1. Gather Evidence: Before you file a complaint, collect any evidence that supports your claim. This could include emails, witness statements, or any records of unfair treatment.
  2. Submit Your Complaint: The process of filing a complaint with the EEOC is straightforward but requires attention to detail. You’ll need to provide your personal details, information about your employer, and a clear description of the discriminatory events and their dates.
  3. Review Process: Once your complaint is filed, the EEOC will review it to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to proceed. They may conduct an investigation to gather more information.

How to Sue a Company for Unfair Treatment

While the EEOC plays a vital role, sometimes taking legal action is necessary. If you believe your case is strong, consulting with an employment attorney can provide you with additional options and strategies. An attorney can guide you through the complexities of employment law, help you understand your rights, and determine the best course of action for your situation.

Not all situations that are “unfair” are actually illegal. So, it is important to know what is employee mistreatment is within Employment Law and At Will Employment.

For example, you were passed over for a promotion or assigned to a different shift. These events are frustrating, but they do not necessarily qualify as discrimination. 

At Will Employment States

Not all states are at will employment states. For those that are, employers can fire employees without notice or reason. Some exceptions apply, like if an employer violates an employment contract or state or federal employment statute.

Regardless if the state is California, Texas, or another state, there’s some behavior that employers cannot express. One example of this is: discrimination based on protected characteristics. Your state may include additional protections beyond federally mandated requirements, so it is important to know the laws in your state. To learn your state’s labor laws, read compliance guidelines and ask the appropriate authorities questions.

Contact Our Experienced Labor Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you’ve faced unfair treatment in the workplace, you should seek the counsel of an experienced employment and labor attorney to discuss your concerns. A lawyer will be able to help you decide whether you should file a lawsuit and assess the likelihood of success.

Experienced attorneys also have the knowledge and expertise necessary to advise you on the best course of action. They can guide you through the litigation process, help collect necessary documentation, and improve your chances of winning the lawsuit.

Know your rights and don’t settle for being mistreated.

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation with an attorney in our network. We’ll connect you in just 10 minutes or less.

How to Prove Retaliation in the Workplace | Labor and Employment Attorney

In the American workplace, you have a right to complain about unlawful or illegal activity. Many people hold their tongue because they fear the consequences. In fact, this right protects you from many of the consequences you fear. Your rights protect you from dealing with retaliation in the workplace from your boss.

That’s right. Your employer cannot do anything about it. If they try to punish you for it, then you can sue pursuant to a “retaliation” claim. If your employer chooses to take action against you for reporting harassment, mistreatment, discrimination or the like, you could have a retaliation case on your hands.

It isn’t enough to state that you are experiencing harassment in the workplace. You must provide documentation and show proof.

How do you prove retaliation in the workplace? You should consult a lawyer to help you gather evidence and discuss your legal options. An employment lawyer can help evaluate a retaliation case. They will assist you in documenting and providing evidence to support your claim.

Topics and questions this article will help you to answer:

  • What is workplace retaliation
  • What makes a strong retaliation case
  • Evidence to support your claim
  • Documentation needed to defend retaliation claims
  • Signs of retaliation at work
  • How to document retaliation at work
  • Find an Employment Lawyer to Help in a Retaliation Claim

What is Workplace Retaliation?

Retaliation in the workplace is defined as an employer that takes adverse actions against an employee who:

  • Reported an incident
  • Served as a witness
  • Participated in an investigation about an unlawful employment practice

What are the key elements that constitute retaliation?

Protected Activity

Filing or participating in the complaint process.

Adverse action

Includes promotion denial, reduction in benefits or pay, threats, and harassment.

Causal Connection

Evidence an employer took an action against the employee who reported the incident.

Retaliation in the Workplace: Examples of Retaliatory Behavior

There are many different ways in which an employer can retaliate against an employee. Some of the signs of retaliation at work are:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Layoffs
  • Constructive discharge
  • Withholding promotions
  • Blacklisting
  • Transfer to an inconvenient work location
  • Negative change in duties or work responsibilities
  • Denial of OT
  • Denial of PTO
  • Decrease in compensation
  • Denial of benefits
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Formal reprimands
  • Creation of a hostile work environment
  • Written or online harassment

Some workplace environments can be toxic, which pushes employees to take outside legal action. This is especially important if the employee faced retaliatory action for reporting unlawful behavior. Post retaliation, the employee should speak to a lawyer who can evaluate their case and guide them on next steps.

A labor and employment lawyer meets with a client

What Makes a Strong Workplace Retaliation Case?

In order to succeed in proving retaliation, you’ll have to prove the following:

  • You experienced harassment or discrimination
  • You reported the unlawful behavior to HR
  • Your employer engaged in an adverse employment action as a result

Whether your original claim of harassment or discrimination was “true” is irrelevant. All that matters for retaliation is that your employer punished you for complaining or reporting those problems.

Putting together a strong case requires documentation needed to defend retaliation claims, including:

  • What occurred
  • When it happened
  • How long it’s been going on
  • Who was involved, and
  • The outcome

How to Prove Retaliation in the Workplace in California: Evidence

The evidence you can provide in a workplace retaliation case is key to advancing your legal claim in California. To help substantiate the claim, you will need as many documents as possible. They will also help to connect the dots for your lawyer, and for the opposing side, too.

Evidence varies, but to help support your workplace retaliation case, consider the following:

  • Emails
  • Voicemails
  • Text messages
  • Witness corroboration
  • Notes and letters
  • Recorded conversations

When it comes to recordings, be careful. In some jurisdictions, it is illegal to record people without their consent. You’ll want to consult your attorney about what evidence you can use, and what evidence will have to be “thrown out.”

Prove Workplace Retaliation Through Documentation

Once you suspect you may be a victim of workplace retaliation, document everything. Be certain you have documented the incident with your labor law and employment attorney.

Though a labor attorney can help with this process, make sure you have reported the issue to your employer and to the HR department. For example, you can file a complaint, send an email to HR, or involve a third party. Anything that will help to prove your case will be useful here.

Make sure your employer is aware of the situation. You should include them in emails and send them a copy of the report you are filing. Be sure to confirm that you have proof that retaliatory action was taken. 

Keep a Record of Everything

At some point, you may not have access to your work-issued laptop or other equipment. As such, it is useful to save a copy, digital or physical. 

HR departments have a responsibility to avoid unlawful behavior. That being said, if your claim goes unresolved, an employment lawyer can get you the legal assistance you need. An employee discrimination lawyer understands the repercussions of retaliation. They can make sure the behavior and activity no longer persists.

Find an Employment Lawyer to Help in a Retaliation Claim

If you are a victim of retaliation, then it’s a good idea to contact an experienced employment lawyer. An experienced professional can handle your case and help you attain the compensation you deserve. We encourage you to get started as soon as possible.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 today for a free and confidential consultation. We will help you connect with an attorney in under ten minutes.

Examples of Retaliation at Work | Retaliation Attorney

Workplace retaliation takes many forms, and knowing what examples of retaliation at work looks like can help you identify these types of scenarios, report suspicious behaviors, and protect yourself legally.

The law, both state and federal, protects employees against harassment, sexism, racism, and discrimination. The law goes further, however, and also protects employees against punishment for complaining and reporting on these unlawful activities. Employers do NOT have the right to punish employees for exercising their rights in reporting unlawful behaviors and activities, known as “retaliation.” If you’ve faced retaliation at work, then you may have a right to sue your employer for damages.

Common Types of Retaliation at Work

Workplace retaliation covers a very wide range of conduct between employers and employees and takes on many different forms. Some types of retaliation occur more often and more frequently than others.

Below are some common forms of retaliation at work that impact office and other professional environments:

Termination or Demotion

Termination or demotion. This is when an employee feels as if their job has been taken away from them or they have been moved to a lesser role or position because they spoke out or reported a concern.

Low or Negative Performance Evaluations

Low or negative performance evaluations. Sometimes, an employer will target an employee with a performance evaluation that is very low or negative, preventing them from being chosen for a promotion or a pay raise.

Changing or Adverse Work Hours, Schedules, or Locations

Changing or adverse work hours, schedules, or locations. When an employee has reported an issue or concern, the employer may try to retaliate by changing the employee’s work location, giving more or less hours, or disrupting the schedule so the employee cannot perform.

Reduction in Wages or Benefits

Reduction in wages or benefits. Sometimes, employers choose to play with an employee’s salary, paycheck frequency, or benefits. Employees might see a reduction in wages, lack of reimbursement, or holiday hours not being covered. Removal or reduction in benefits such as health coverage is also a form of retaliation at work.

Transition to a Less Favorable Position

Transition to a less favorable position. Let’s say that you wear a hijab to work but your manager tells you that it makes customers or other employees in the office feel uncomfortable. It is part of your religious beliefs and so you file a claim. Later, you find yourself being pushed into a less favorable position.

Harassment, Abuse, or Bullying

Harassment. Perhaps, a manager, supervisor, or coworker continuously makes sexual innuendoes or advancements to you. After you tell them to stop and report it to your HR department, you find a notice of termination on your desk when you arrive the next day and all of your office items already packed for you.

Verbal abuse, threats, harassment, and similar actions that are unpleasant or make for a toxic workplace environment may constitute retaliation as well. You can identify areas and examples of retaliation at work where there may be an issue with an already hostile environment by paying attention to conversations, reading agreements, and also reading the room to get a feel for what is going on. Ask questions of your coworkers to determine whether they are experiencing the same issues as you.

What Documentation Looks Like for a Retaliation Case

Retaliation claims can be complex, so it’s important to keep extensive records. After all, the success of your case will likely center around the evidence.

Document what happened in the very first incident. You can write it out in a report that you share with management and the HR department. Note the date, timeline, people involved, employer’s actions, employee’s actions, and anything else that may be useful in pursuing your case.

Note the actions that were taken as part of the retaliation for engaging in reporting activity or incident. Identifying what happened, who was involved or issued the retaliatory offense, and the timelines associated with it can be useful.

Research any information from company employee handbooks as well as procedures and processes for filing grievances that can be used to support the other evidence you are gathering. Using the company’s own words can help reduce the amount of time and resources expended on proving that the unlawful action happened.

Determining Retaliation at Work

Talking to an employment lawyer can clear up any confusion that you may have about your employer’s retaliatory actions. An experienced local attorney can not only help you to develop your case and file your claims, but also guide you through complex and ever-changing dynamics of litigation.

Depending on the form of retaliation, you may qualify for compensation related to income lost due to termination, role reduction, or hours and benefits losses. Damages calculations are fundamental to a lawyer’s services, so consult your attorney for an assessment. More accurate damages calculations take time (as significant evidence has to be procured, and the employer’s arguments have to be presented, too).

Find a Retaliation Lawyer with 1-800-THE-LAW2 to Help in a Retaliation or Employment Claim

If you believe that you are the victim of retaliation at work, it is important to contact an experienced employment or retaliation lawyer who can handle your case. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 today for a free and confidential consultation. We’ll get you connected to a qualified attorney in just 10 minutes or less.