Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
It is often said that retaliation claims can be more dangerous than the underlying violations that are complained of. This is because it may be extremely difficult for a particular employee to prove a case of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or other type of violation, but substantially easier for the same employee to successfully prove that he/she complained of such a violation and experienced a negative impact as a result, even if the subject of the underlying complaint is meritless.
What Is Retaliation?
Almost all employment laws have built-in provisions specifically making it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for either complaining of conduct prohibited by the law or taking legal action against the employer under the law. These anti-retaliation provisions are enacted to encourage employees to take action to remedy perceived violations of the law and provide protection to those that do. Unfortunately, many employees often abuse these protections by making baseless complaints about alleged unlawful conduct by an employer as a means of providing themselves with job security in difficult economic times or when they are not meeting performance expectations. These employees think that simply lodging a complaint of unlawful employer conduct may either protect their employment position or at the very least provide them with grounds for negotiating for higher severance pay upon their termination.
Unfortunately for employers, the Courts have been very receptive to employment retaliation claims. For example, recently the U. S. Supreme Court greatly expanded the scope of viable retaliation claims, making it possible for a substantial amount of fairly trivial conduct to qualify as retaliatory. This and other Court decisions have emboldened employees and the plaintiffs’ bar, with the result that many employment-related lawsuits now routinely include retaliation claims.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
At Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C., we protect the rights of small and mid-sized businesses against whistleblower and retaliation complaints. We offer proactive legal guidance in assisting businesses to avoid and handle complaints before they escalate to litigation. Early detection and effective employee handling can minimize an employer’s potential exposure to costly retaliation and whistleblower claims. See our human resource consulting section for more details regarding preventative measures and policies that businesses can implement in order to minimize their risk.
Contact Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C. to discuss your claim
If you are a business facing an employee retaliation or whistleblower claim, or you wish to take steps to minimize the risk and impact of such claims, arrange a consultation today with our experienced employment attorneys.
- Call (718) 275-6700.
Employment and labor law attorneys serving businesses in Long Island City, Queens, on Long Island and in towns and communities across the New York City metro area