Worker mistreatment after a protected activity may be retaliation

Many Oregon workers may feel that they need to stand up to wrongdoing in the workplace. In some cases, they may complain about discrimination or harassment that has occurred or participate in some other type of protected activity. Unfortunately, even though they have the right to take such action, they could still face retaliation from their employers.

Various employee actions could count as protected activity. As mentioned, filing complaints about unlawful action in the workplace falls into this category, as do participating in workplace investigations, taking part in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case, requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and requesting an accommodation for a disability or a religious reason. If a worker faces adverse treatment from an employer after participating in any of these activities, that treatment could constitute retaliation.

In order for the treatment to fall into the category of retaliation, it must have worked to likely deter a worker from filing a discriminatory claim. In some cases, disciplinary action may come against an employee for a valid reason, even after a complaint or other protected action. However, if the treatment would not have resulted if not for the wrongful actions of the employer, it is likely retaliation.

Filing a retaliation claim can be complicated. There are many elements to this type of claim, and Oregon workers may wonder whether they have reason to move forward with legal action. If these concerns exist, individuals may want to speak with employment law attorneys about what actions could be considered retaliatory and under what circumstances, as well as about their options for addressing wrongdoing.

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Daemie M. Kim
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