Miami Workplace Retaliation lawyers | Free Consultation | No Fee Unless We Recover
Employees have every right to oppose unlawful discriminatory conduct and the right to make complaints for discrimination in the workplace. The law prevents employers from retaliating or punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination in the workplace. Claims of unlawful retaliation—otherwise known as “adverse actions”— may include termination, demotion, change in rates of pay, or change in job duties.
Protected Activity Under Federal and Florida Law
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers with over 15 employees from discriminating against an individual because of their race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, creed, age, disability or pregnancy. But it does more than that, it also prevents employers from retaliating against their employees who participate in making complaints of discrimination in the workplace. The state of Florida also has additional protections similar to those provided under Title VII under the Florida Civil Rights Act. For example, under both federal and Florida law, it is unlawful to retaliate against applicants or employees for engaging in “protected activity,” such as:
- Refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination
- Resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others from discrimination
- Requesting accommodation for a religious practice or disability
- Filing an EEOC charge, a Florida Commission on Human Relations charge, complaint, or lawsuit
- Being a witness or participating in an EEOC charge, a Florida Commission on Human Relations charge, complaint, an EEOC investigation, a Florida Commission on Human Relations investigation, or lawsuit
- Communicating with a supervisor or manager about employment discrimination
- Answering questions during an employer’s investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment
- Asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages.
Individuals fearful of retaliation may be afraid that the law does not protect them from retaliation if their claims of discrimination are later dismissed. But they should not worry because the law also protects applicants and employees from retaliation even if their claims are later dismissed, as long as the individual had a “reasonable belief” that an employer discriminated against or retaliated against him or her in the workplace.
Unlawful Adverse Actions
Retaliation against an employee occurs if an employer takes an adverse action against an employee. An adverse action can include:
- Increase scrutiny
- Verbal or physical abuse
- Continued harassment
- Unfavorable performance evaluations, which is lower than it should be
- Disciplinary action
- Transfer of the employee to a less desirable position
- Make the employee’s work more difficult
- Threats to make, or actually make reports to authorities, such as reporting immigration status or contacting the police
- False rumors
- Treating a family member negatively
- Purposefully changing his work schedule to conflict with family responsibilities
At times, an employer may fabricate a fake reason for its retaliatory act or for an employee’s termination. Such fabricated reasons are called “Pretext.” Pretext is essentially a bogus reason and it is used when the employer states the reason for a particular action is legitimate but in reality the reason is made up in order to retaliate against the employee for complaining about discrimination, sexual harassment, being a whistleblower or for simply speaking up about unlawful behavior. It can be difficult to overcome an employer’s pretext and hard to track down the necessary evidence to defeat an employer’s evidence of pretext. This is why a wrongly terminated employee needs an experienced employment lawyer to analyze the evidence and to prove that the employee was in fact retaliated against.
If you believe you are being subjected to employment retaliation after engaging in protected activity, our Miami lawyers may be able to help. The skilled employment law attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group are available to represent individuals in Miami and throughout the state of Florida with their claims of retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, and unfair treatment in the workplace. Our law firm represents employees and job applicants exclusively. Moreover, it does not matter whether you are a resident, citizen, or undocumented worker, we can help.
Contact Our Miami Retaliation Lawyers For Free Consultation
Our Miami attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of retaliation. Working together with our New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients under Federal and state law. If you feel you have been discriminated against, please give our attorneys a call, at 1-305-946-1884, for your free consultation.
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.
Derek Smith is not yet admitted to practice law in Florida. His Partner, Andrew Alitowski, Esq. is admitted to practice law in Florida and runs the Miami office. Additionally, Kelly O’Connell is admitted to practice law in Florida and also operates out of the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC Miami office. Derek Smith is sitting for the July Florida Bar exam and hopes to be admitted in Florida shortly.