You spend a lot of your life at work. Your place of employment can be a source of inspiration, motivation, pride, and fulfillment. It can be a place where you cultivate friendships and build a foundation of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to you in the future.
If you are retaliated against for doing so, you are not without options. The South Jersey employment lawyers at Burnham Law Group, LLC have over two decades of experience handling all types of employment law matters, including workplace retaliation.
Witnessing Wrongdoing at Work
Wrongdoing at work can take many forms, and if you are a victim or a witness, you have a right to report it.
Here are a few examples:
- You are discriminated against, or you see a co-worker mistreated because of sexual preference, race, religion, or for some other discriminatory reason.
- You are denied promotions or not treated equally because of your gender.
- You experience or witness sexual innuendo, inappropriate touching, or other forms of sexual harassment by a co-worker, boss, or client.
- You or a coworker are wrongfully terminated for raising concerns about workplace harassment, hiring/firing practices, or any other activity in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations.
If you are a victim or witness of any form of discrimination or harassment, and you report it or file a complaint, you have a right to be heard, and to have your rights at work respected throughout the complaint process and beyond. Even if you are not the one who reported the complaint, but you are involved in the investigation as a witness, you may experience retaliation.
There are federal and state laws that make retaliation in the workplace illegal, even if the complaint is deemed baseless.
What is a “Whistleblower?”
A whistleblower – or a person who “blows the whistle” after witnessing fraudulent, unethical, or illegal practices at work – is often the target of harassment and retaliation. But even if your suspicions are proven to be wrong, you have a right to be heard, and the law protects you from retaliation when you speak up.
The Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) ensures that you cannot be discriminated against or terminated for any of the following:
- Reporting or threatening to report any activity at work that is illegal, criminal, or fraudulent
- Refusing to participate in or objecting to any work-related activity that you reasonably believe to be illegal, fraudulent, criminal, or that goes against public policy
- Testifying to or providing information to a public entity that is investigating a possible violation by your employer
What is Retaliation?
There are a variety of negative employment actions that can be considered workplace retaliation. These include:
- Harassment or demeaning treatment
- Pay decrease
- Denial of a promotion you earned
- Change in your shift
- Denial of opportunities
- Bad references
- Unjustifiable negative employment reviews
When You File a Complaint
If you have witnessed or experienced an issue at work and you decide to report it, your employer should take your complaint seriously, and should keep your complaint confidential. Information about your complaint should be shared only with relevant parties.
It would be immensely helpful for you to make notes and keep any documentation updated, so that you have your own trustworthy record of what transpired. Put as much as you can in writing, in order to maintain a chain of evidence, should you be a victim of workplace retaliation.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at Burnham Law Group, LLC Advocate for Employees Who Are Retaliated Against
The legal team at Burnham Law Group, LLC has a wealth of experience in employment law and upholding workplace rights. To learn more, or for a free evaluation of your case, please call a South Jersey employment lawyer today at 856-751-5505 or contact us online. With offices in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we represent clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Atlantic County, and throughout South Jersey.