Employers are prohibited from terminating employees in certain situations. Terminating an employee is some circumstances can be considered retaliation if the employee has participated in certain protected activities and is terminated because of that protected activity.
Protections against employer retaliation
Employers who have been retaliated against need to be familiar with what is considered retaliation and how they can establish a claim for workplace retaliation. To establish a claim for employer retaliation, the worker needs to show:
- They engaged in protected activity. Protected activity can include complaining about the employer’s illegal discrimination, participating in a complaint concerning an employer’s illegal activity or participating in an investigation into prohibited activities the employer is engaging in.
- They were punished in some way such as they were terminated, which can be considered wrongful termination, they were denied a promotion, they were denied benefits, they were demoted or their hours were cut.
- The punishment or negative action the employee was subjected to by the employer must have resulted from the employee’s participation in some protected activity.
Ways that employees can establish that they were fired for engaging in a protected activity can include demonstrating that they were in line for a promotion but were removed from consideration. If they can also demonstrate there was no other reason for them to be removed from consideration for the promotion, they may have a claim for unlawful retaliation.
Employees are protected from retaliation and unlawful termination in certain circumstances. Employers may think they can fire an employee for any reason but that is not always true. They cannot fire an employee for participating in a protected activity.