Retaliation from employers is not only spiteful, unprofessional, and juvenile, but also against the law in West Virginia. However, in many cases, employers and managers disregard the law – primarily because they don’t believe any action will ever be taken against them.
Employers and managers may retaliate against an employee for:
- Reporting discrimination
- Reporting sexual harassment
- Rejecting sexual advances
- Requesting medical leave
- Refusing to perform a dangerous job function
- Filing a complaint against a supervisor for any behavior that is illegal or goes against a company’s policies
- Being involved in union activities
Protection against employer retaliation
Whether or not the allegations against an employer are true, employees who make good faith complaints are protected by laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under most circumstances. In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for:
- Complaining about discrimination
- Filing a charge of discrimination
- Participating in an investigation or lawsuit regarding discrimination
Under state law, it is illegal to “subject an employee to an abusive work environment.” Additionally, employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for refusing to engage in any kind of illegal employment practice, testifying against an employer, or making internal complaints.
Employers and managers may not engage in any of the following forms of retaliation for any reason:
- Not hiring an applicant
- Firing an employee
- Altering an employee’s job functions
- Demoting an employee
- Transferring an employee to another department
- Denying a promotion or salary increase
- Laying off an employee
- Denying an employee of adequate training
- Altering or cutting off an employee’s benefits
Recognize the signs and get legal help
When an employer or manager retaliates against an employee, it can either be blatant or subtle. In some cases, an employee may not realize it’s happening until significant damage has already been done. A crafty manager may sabotage your employment in a secretive manner. When this happens, it may be difficult to provide proof or gather statements from witnesses.
But as soon as you recognize the signs of retaliation, it’s crucial that you take immediate action. Your job or career could be in jeopardy.
Dealing with an employer who retaliates can be complex and frustrating. Abusive employers will go to great lengths to cover up any wrongdoing on their part. That’s why it’s crucial that you understand your rights. Discuss your matter with an experienced West Virginia employer retaliation attorney who fully understands the law. The legal team at Klie Law Offices can work tirelessly to ensure that you are treated fairly. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.