Bethlehem Retaliation Lawyers

Serving the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Area

State and federal employment anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from retaliating against their employees for opposing discriminatory practices or filing discrimination complaints with the relevant government agency. Thus, an employer is not permitted to fire an employee because the employee has complained to the employer about discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or citizenship status. Local ordinances may also prohibit retaliation where the underlying discrimination complaint is for sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.

An employer’s retaliatory action will give rise to liability if the action could dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. Thus, if in response to an employee filing a discrimination complaint, a supervisor ignores the employee as they pass in the hallway, it is likely that no liability for retaliation will arise. If, however, the employer decides not to promote the employee because he has filed a discrimination complaint, the employer will be liable for retaliation.

It is critical for employees and employers to understand that an employer can be liable for retaliation even if the employee’s underlying allegation of discrimination is without merit. For example, assume that an employee files a good-faith complaint in which he alleges that he was demoted because of his race. A court, however, ultimately disagrees, and the employer is found not to have engaged in any race-based discrimination. The employer, upset that it has been wrongfully accused of engaging in discriminatory conduct, fires the employee. The employee has a viable retaliation claim, even though the underlying discrimination claim was not successful.
As with other types of discrimination, employers will rarely retaliate in an open and explicit manner. For example, if an employer fires an employee because the employee has made a sexual harassment complaint, the employer will not typically acknowledge to the employee that he or she is being fired for that reason.

However, just because retaliation is not open and obvious does not mean that it does not exist. One way an employee can prove retaliation is where, shortly after making a discrimination complaint or filing a complaint with a government agency, the employer takes action against the employee that could dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.

Know your rights. The filing of retaliation complaints have increased dramatically in recent years and are now one of the most common types of discrimination cases. Retaliation claims often involve difficult and complex legal issues. For that reason, you will need a employment discrimination attorney by your side who will not hesitate to aggressively litigate your case. If you believe you have been retaliated against, call Littner, Deschler & Littner immediately. We can assist you in understanding your options and the strength of your case. Employees should be advised that there are strict and relatively short deadlines for filing a discrimination claim with the applicable state or federal agency. Do not lose your right to bring a claim and get the relief you deserve. Schedule an appointment with Littner, Deschler & Littner today.