Wrongful Termination Lawyers Florida. An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise retaliate against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, skin color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability, as well as wage differences between men and women performing substantially equal work, prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding.
An employer may not retaliate against employees for:
- Filing workers compensation claims
- Attending jury duty
- Responding to a subpoena to testify in court
- Supporting a particular political party or candidate
Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity.
What Is an Adverse Action?
An adverse action is an action taken to try to keep someone from opposing a discriminatory practice, or from participating in an employment discrimination proceeding. Even if the prior protected activity alleged wrongdoing by a different employer, retaliatory adverse actions are unlawful. However, employees are not excused from continuing to perform their jobs or follow their company’s legitimate workplace rules just because they have filed a complaint with the EEOC or opposed discrimination.
Who Is Covered?
Covered individuals are people who have opposed unlawful practices, participated in proceedings, or requested accommodations related to employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Individuals who have a close association with someone who has engaged in such protected activity also are covered individuals (employer cannot terminate an employee because his spouse participated in employment discrimination litigation).
Individuals who have brought attention to violations of law other than employment discrimination are not covered individuals for purposes of anti-discrimination retaliation laws (a whistleblower who raises ethical, financial, or other concerns unrelated to employment discrimination are not protected by the EEOC enforced laws but may be protected by whistleblower laws).
Protected activity includes an objection to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination (informing an employer that you have a good faith belief that the employer is engaging in prohibited discrimination). Participation in an employment discrimination proceeding. Examples of participation include the filing a charge of employment discrimination; cooperating with an internal investigation of alleged discriminatory practices; or serving as a witness in an EEO investigation or litigation.