Retaliation Laws

State and federal law protects employees who protest against discrimination, harassment, and other inappropriate activities in the workplace. Unfortunately, some employers retaliate against workers who file these types of complaints. Retaliatory actions against employees may include termination, demotion, relocation, and other actions that can have a negative effect on the worker’s life and livelihood. If you think you may be a victim of retaliation, don’t wait to talk to a Phoenix employment lawyer about protecting your rights.

What Constitutes Employer Retaliation?

Arizona statute 23-1501 makes it illegal for companies to retaliate against workers under certain circumstances. Here are some of the situations in which an employee is protected in the eye of the law:

  • The employee filed a complaint against their employer for sexual harassment or discrimination
  • The employee refused to commit an act violating the Arizona constitution
  • The employer disclosed information out of a belief that their employer was in violation of the Arizona constitution
  • The employee was exercising their workers’ compensation rights
  • The employee was serving on a jury or exercising their voting rights
  • The employee joined a labor group
  • The employee was serving in the Armed Forces or National Guard
  • The employee was exercising their right to be free of extorted fees or gratuities as a job condition
  • The employee was exercising their right to be free from the coercion to purchase goods

As an Arizona employee, you should be aware that your employer cannot fire you for any of the above. Moreover, if you think you have suffered workplace retaliation, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney about safeguarding your rights.

Unintended Retaliation

Retaliation can be deliberate or unintended. For example, the company may purposely choose to do an employee harm by firing them, demoting them, or reducing their hours. However, unintended actions that have a negative effect on a worker can also be considered a form of retaliation. For example, if a worker files a sexual harassment claim against a supervisor, the company might change her shift so she’s no longer working with that individual. While the intention may have been good, this act could still be viewed as a form of unintended retaliation if switching shifts negatively affects the employee’s life. 

How to Prove Retaliation in Phoenix

Proving employer retaliation can be challenging. Not only do employees have to demonstrate that they were engaged in conduct that’s protected, but they also have to show that they suffered negative consequences as a result of their employer’s action. Naturally, the odds of employers admitting to retaliation are slim, so it’s typically on the employee to prove a connection between their conduct and the employer’s harmful behavior. 

Here are some of the types of evidence that can be helpful in proving a retaliation case:

  • A short passage of time between the protected conduct and the employer’s retaliatory action
  • A lack of effort by the employer to investigate the employee’s retaliation complaint 
  • Records of unequal treatment of employees who did not complain 
  • Records of harassment or hostility toward the complaining party or other employees who complained in the past
  • An unbelievable explanation for the employer’s adverse behavior toward the employee

If you’re still employed at the company in question, you can take steps to increase your odds of winning a retaliation case. Whenever possible, you should adhere to your job responsibilities and behave in a professional manner. Avoid losing your temper if supervisors or colleagues treat you in a way that’s disrespectful or retaliatory. 

Additionally, employees involved in retaliation cases in Phoenix should maintain detailed records. Hold on to important documents, including employee reviews, emails, and texts. You should also jot down the dates of any phone calls and make note of what was said. If you do receive criticisms or reprimands from your supervisor, be sure to respond in a timely and professional way. The goal is to defend your point of view without appearing difficult or stubborn.

Damages in Retaliation Cases

The good news is that you can be compensated for winning a retaliation case against your employer. Depending on the details of the case, the court may award you money for lost pay and attorney fees. Additionally, some retaliation victims receive money for pain and suffering they endured because of their employer’s actions. Your Phoenix employment lawyer can advise you on the merits of your case and whether or not you may be entitled to compensation.

Trust Our Employment Attorneys With Your Retaliation Case

Business is booming in Phoenix, so it’s no surprise that an increasing number of workers are in need of a knowledgeable labor and employment attorney. A leading area law firm, we provide a wide range of services and legal support for employees facing retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, and more. To learn how we can help, call our office today or contact us online