Workers have the right to safe, fair and ethical workplaces in Harrisburg and across Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, some employers fail to provide safe workplaces and retaliate vindictively against employees who try to institute changes. If you have been fired, demoted or otherwise treated unfairly after reporting unsafe or harassing conditions, contact McCarthy Weisberg Cummings to speak to an experienced employment retaliation lawyer. There are legal avenues you can pursue to protect your career and to get justice.
Why Workplace Retaliation Happens
In many cases, employer retaliation occurs because an employee has spoken out against unjust or unsafe conditions. Workplace retaliation can happen if an employee speaks out against:
- Unsafe or unethical working conditions. Employees have the right to refuse unsafe work conditions and to report unsafe or unethical working conditions without fear of retaliation. When employers strike back against employees who report violations of safety codes or other labor laws, workers are protected by whistleblower laws and may be able to pursue claims or other legal action.
- Hostile workplace. A hostile workplace can happen if employers and other workers create an unsafe, unwelcoming and uncomfortable space for some workers. This can happen because of sexual harassment, racist comments or other inappropriate actions. Employees have a right to speak out against inappropriate behaviors in the workplace without fear of reprisal.
- Discrimination. Under discrimination laws, employers cannot refuse employment or fair treatment to qualified workers because of workers’ religion, ethnicity, age, country of origin, race or sex. In some parts of Pennsylvania, discrimination due to sexual orientation is also illegal. When workers see discrimination taking place, they have the right to speak out and to seek redress.
- Sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can involve coercion, sexually charged advances or behaviors, inappropriate comments and other unseemly behaviors that lead to a sexually charged and hostile workplace. Both men and women have a right to be free from sexual harassment of any kind. If someone reports sexual harassment and is then reprimanded for it in some way, they have the right to speak out.
How Do I Know Whether Workplace Retaliation Has Happened?
In many cases, it can be difficult to prove workplace retaliation, since employers and perpetrators will generally deny any retaliatory action. However, a qualified employer retaliation attorney may be able to prove retaliation has occurred if:
- An employee is treated differently after reporting unsafe, hostile or unethical workplace conditions
- An employee is denied work, fired, demoted or is given different work duties or unfavorable reviews after reporting unacceptable workplace conditions.
- No changes have been made after the complaint.
- The employee is held to different standards than other people working in the same job.
Retaliatory action by employers is illegal both under state and federal laws. Unfortunately, in some cases, vindictive behavior is allowed to continue because workers fear they will be punished even further or will be fired from their job if they continue to speak out and take action. Retaliatory action keeps workers silent about unsafe or unacceptable behaviors and punishes those who try to make positive changes in workplaces.
If you think you have been the victim of retaliatory or vindictive action, speak to a retaliation lawyer at McCarthy Weisberg Cummings. Through our offices in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, our employer retaliation attorneys stand by those who have suffered discrimination and other unacceptable treatment at the hands of employers. We gather evidence, speak to witnesses and represent clients both within their organizations and in court if our clients decide to pursue legal claims.