Our employment lawyers Dallas TX know that most business owners do their best not to discriminate and to provide reasonable accommodation to their employees. However, many business owners do not consider the prospect of a retaliation claim on top of the underlying complaint. Retaliation claims can result in a double ding for the employer – if, for example, an employee reports a business to the EEOC for disability discrimination and the employee is later demoted, the employee can add a charge of retaliation, creating even more of a headache and greater financial burden on the employer. Company owners and management should be aware that retaliation claims exist and should be on top of how to prevent them and defend against them.
Employment Lawyers Dallas TX: What is Retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when an employee reports an employer for some violation or does some other act permitted by law, and the employer engages in adverse action against the employee because it. Adverse action can mean termination of employment, demotion, harassment, threats and other actions that rise above petty annoyance.
Employment Law Dallas TX: The Laws the Prohibit Retaliation
The following federal laws prohibit retaliation by employers against employees who exercise their rights thereunder:
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- National Labor Relations Act
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Employers also cannot retaliate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims.
Defenses to Retaliation Claims
Retaliation claims are not airtight. An employer can offer several defenses to retaliation claims, such as:
- The adverse action taken against the employee was for cause and was not related to the employee’s action taken under the above statutes.
- The employee has not provided evidence of a causal connection between the adverse action and the employee’s protected action.
- The employer was not aware that the employee had engaged in protected activity.
- The employer’s action taken against the employee was not sufficient to rise to the level of adverse action.
Prevention of Retaliation Claims
The best way to deal with retaliation claims is to prevent them entirely. Employers can do this by having policies in place for employees to lodge complaints and by pushing the company’s commitment to equal employment opportunity. Employment lawyers Dallas TX can assist business owners with drafting policies and procedures for employee grievances as well as employee handbooks setting forth a code of conduct for all employees, including management. Employers who want to prevent retaliation claims or who are already facing retaliation claims by employees should contact Simon | Paschal PLLC at (972) 893-9340 for experienced legal counsel related to employment law matters.
Employment Lawyers Dallas TX
Simon Paschal PLLC
13601 Preston Road Suite W870
Dallas, Texas 75204
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