Retaliation in the workplace in Miami is when an employer, supervisor, manager, or CEO punishes an employee or job applicant for following the law and reporting illegal activity or standing up to illegal practice. These punishments are also known as adverse employment actions and are illegal. For over 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims of retaliation in Miami receive the compensation they deserve.
Retaliation in the workplace in Miami occurs when an employee works to follow the law and report unlawful activity and is then subsequently fired, demoted, or punished in some way by his or her employer, supervisor, manager, CEO, or even fellow employee. This is known as an adverse employment action, and can come in the form of:
- Increased scrutiny
- Verbal or physical abuse
- Continued harassment
- Unfavorable performance evaluations
- Disciplinary action of any kind
- Transferring the employee to a less desirable position
- Making the employee’s work more difficult
- Threats to make, or actually making reports to authorities, such as reporting immigration status or contacting the police
- False rumors
- Treating a family member negatively
- Purposefully changing his or her work schedule to conflict with family responsibilities
Reporting discrimination, sexual harassment, or criminal activity, or refusing to participate in these acts, is protected by several federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Civil Rights Act, among other laws and statutes. Furthermore, you do not need to win your discrimination claim, or even have a discrimination claim, to be retaliated against and win that claim against your employer.
In order to prove retaliation, you must prove that you reported an incident or concern and then your company found a way to punish you. The cause and effect must occur within a reasonable time to one another, preferably a week or two or less. This relationship can be shown in one of three ways.
- Direct Evidence. This is the type of evidence that everyone wishes to have and is the most difficult to obtain. This is often called the “smoking gun” evidence. It is when you obtain verbal or written communication directly or indirectly which states that you were punished for reporting illegal activities or legal violations.
- Disparate Evidence. Disparate evidence is a cause and effect relationship between the reporting of activities or standing up against violations of employment laws and the punishment or adverse employment action that results. For instance, when an employee or job applicant can show that he or she was treated poorly or terminated, demoted, or experienced any other negative employment action within days or a week or two after filing a report with HR or some other entity, then the employee likely has disparate evidence of retaliation.
- Policy Evidence. Policy evidence is exactly as it sounds. A policy may be inherently retaliatory. For instance, your company may have a policy that all new mothers are to only be allowed to work 20 hours per week. That is actually retaliation against women for having a baby and can be a violation of the law. This is policy evidence and can be used to show retaliation in court.
Here are some examples of how you can be a victim of workplace retaliation.
- An employee joins the union. Three days later, the employee’s hours are reduced to half the hours he normally works.
- A new dad applies to take FMLA and is denied. He files an appeal and wins. While using FMLA, he is fired from his position.
- An employee agrees to testify against his supervisor for forcing employees to retire at age 65. The employer sends a notice to all other employers in the field that requests backlisting the employee so he cannot find any other work.
- An employee is demoted because she refused sexual advances from her manager.
- An employee’s pregnancy starts to show. Within 2 days, she sees she is only on the schedule for 3 days a week instead of full-time. She complains to HR about the change. Then she notices she is reduced to working one day a week.
- A man’s wife is in the military and his deployed on a mission. He asks his employer to keep his schedule the same and please do not schedule him for any starting time prior to 7:30 am so he can get his kids to school. His employer schedules him for a 7 am starting time for the entire week following. He then proceeds to discipline the employee when he is late. As a result of this action, the employee is terminated.
- A co-worker spreads false rumors about an employee because the employee reported him for harassment to HR.
- An employer files a lawsuit against an employee preemptively because the employee reported the employer to HR for sexual harassment.
- An employee is written up for leaving her desk three times in a day. For five years, this employee or any other employee had been able to walk away from their desks numerous times in a day without a problem. Two days before this write-up, the employee agreed to testify against his supervisor in a religious discrimination lawsuit.
- A job applicant says in an interview that she will not shred documents related to cases she knows to be open. She is not hired because she refuses to participate in destroying evidence.
Retaliation in the workplace in Miami can be the result of any number of legal violations. If the cause is related to discrimination, a claim must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the incident. However, if the case is the result of a whistleblower claim or sexual harassment, the time limit to file a lawsuit will be longer. The standard time limit to file a claim for retaliation in Miami can be between 300 days and 3 years or more, depending on the reason eh retaliation occurred.
If you are the victim of workplace retaliation in Miami, you deserve justice. The courts may award any of the following relief to help you get the justice you deserve:
• Reinstatement of employment and/or benefits
• Reinstatement of position, salary, and/schedule
• Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
• Reimbursement of benefit premiums
• Termination or reassignment of the person responsible for retaliation
• Review and revamping of policies and procedures
• Back pay
• Future pay
• Attorney’s fees
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress
• Punitive damages
A workplace retaliation lawsuit in Miami may take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year or more to resolve. If your employer is willing to negotiate a settlement that you and your attorney deem fair, your case may settle in only 4 to 6 months. However, if your employer refuses to negotiate or wishes to go to trial, the case may take anywhere from a year or more to prepare for trial and to obtain a judgment in court.
If you are the victim of retaliation in the workplace, here are few things you can do right now to help as you decide to file a complaint.
1. Contact an experienced Miami workplace retaliation attorney immediately.
2. If you have not been fired, do not quit your job.
3. If your company has an HR department, report the retaliation immediately.
4. If your company has a policy for reporting retaliation, follow it.
5. Gather evidence. Make sure you document each incident, including what occurred, who was involved, when and where it occurred, and any witnesses to the incidents.
6. Do not waste time. Your time to file a lawsuit or claim is limited. Do not waste time and miss your statute of limitations.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Workplace Retaliation Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Employees have the right to report illegal activity or refuse to participate in activities they know to be against the law. If you are the victim of workplace retaliation in Miami, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Call us today at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.
Our Florida office is located in downtown Miami and serve individuals and employees throughout Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Monroe County, Orange County, in Orlando, Naples, Sarasota, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Gainesville, and locally in Miami, Miami Beach, Brickell, South Miami, Miami Lakes, North Miami, North Miami Beach, South Beach, Coral Gables, Aventura, Kendall, Doral, Hialeah, Florida Keys, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Pompano, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Bay, and, Florida.