Posted By MatadorAdmin || 29-Jun-2022

As your Adverse Action Attorney, Maryland workers trust at the Federal Practice Group may tell you, there are many laws in place that are explicitly designed to protect employees from harassment or discrimination. These same laws also protect the rights of employees who blew the whistle so that their employers do not retaliate against them. If an employee blew the whistle on something they saw in the workplace that was unethical or illegal, their employer might punish them by demoting or firing them. Even if an employee’s complaint was valid, they might be at risk of drastic action against them. These precarious situations can be stressful since employees jeopardize their job security and reputation. 

All employees should be able to conduct their tasks in hospitable workplaces without harassment or fear of termination, disciplinary, or adverse action. If you are an employee being threatened with retaliation by your employer, obtain legal help immediately, so your rights are properly protected. 

What Is Retaliation in the Workplace?

Based on legal protections, an employee cannot have raises withheld or be discouraged from opportunities for whistleblowing. When an employee witnesses illegal acts going on in the workplace (like tax fraud or wage issues), they should feel comfortable coming forward to HR or higher authorities to point out the problem. If an employee blows the whistle, they are legally protected to do so without fear of retribution. 

However, if their employer punishes them in any way for this, it is retaliation and necessitates taking action with help from a Maryland Adverse Action Attorney. Examples of retaliation include:

  • Firing
  • Salary Reduction
  • Demotion
  • Job Reassignment or Transfer

A real-world example of whistleblowing could be if an employee observes that certain people in the payroll department are skimming money off the top for themselves or not providing the correct information to auditors. If that employee tells their boss this information and gets fired a few days later, there is likely a correlation between blowing the whistle on the payroll department and being fired. 

Retaliation can be significantly subtler. Retaliation does not always appear as direct or outright penalties on the company record. However, they are actions that can still negatively affect an employee’s level of productivity or ability to earn an adequate income. Retaliation is done to inconvenience targeted employees purposely. Perhaps your employer chose to change the shift you work at your job, even assigning you to shifts outside your preferred availability. While this may not sound like a big deal, your employer might have stuck you on the graveyard shift at a restaurant where you get no tips. If what your employer consciously did caused adverse consequences for you in the workplace after you reported an unlawful incident committed by the company, it could be considered retaliation. These serious actions harm you as an employee, and you have a right to speak to an attorney about the situation. 

As soon as you notice your employer committing such a questionable action or pattern of actions, it would help if you searched for a top Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney in Virginia with whom you can share confidential information to begin a case. 

What Can You Do If You Suspect Retaliation?

It can be alarming if you believe that retaliation is occurring in your workplace due to your whistleblowing. However, you must understand your full rights as an employee are protected. You deserve to know the truth from your employer about whether or not retaliation is happening and if so, why. Discussing your situation with an experienced lawyer is the most efficient way to find answers. If you suspect that your employer is retaliating against you in any way, there are a few things you should do: 

  • Make a Timeline. When did you blow the whistle? When did “retaliation” start? 
  • Gather Evidence. How has your employer’s conduct toward you changed? What retaliation have you noticed? Write down any notable changes that have affected your position or schedule. 
  • Speak With a Supervisor Or Human Resources Manager. While your employer might have an explanation, it never hurts first to ask someone of authority for an up-front explanation.
  • What If My Employer Denies Retaliating? Suppose you have spoken with a supervisor and your employer still denies retaliating after you have brought forward evidence that these negative actions have happened after you blew the whistle. In that case, you can bring concerns to your state’s fair employment agency.

How Can an Attorney Help My Case?

Any threat of retaliation from an employer is unsettling and is challenging to handle alone. The last thing workers who have put in the dedicated years of experience at a company want is for situations like this to occur. You may have racing thoughts or doubts about your future in the company. Having a lawyer working to protect your rights can make the process more manageable and far less intimidating. If you are considering hiring a lawyer, you must act as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will be much harder for you to prepare a strong defense.  

If you are still receiving negative backlash from your employer or if they terminated you, discussing your case with an attorney can be highly beneficial. They will examine your case and advise you on the next steps you should take. Cases involving the government can be complicated, so you should work with an experienced attorney who specializes in helping federal government employees. 

You have a right to hire an attorney if you believe your career is at stake. A legal professional can help you determine if you have a clear case for retaliation after blowing the whistle and the next best steps for moving forward. To get in touch with an Attorney for Adverse Action in Maryland, call the Federal Practice Group today.

4 Ways Harassment Impacts Employees and Organizations

Maryland adverse action attorneys are relied upon by victims of discrimination, harassment, and subsequent retaliation to act against those responsible for wrongdoing. It may be necessary to consult with a lawyer from a firm like Federal Practice Group when an employee faces discrimination or adverse action such as pay cuts, job loss, or further harassment due to their employer’s inability to respond or take action appropriately. Issues involving harassment within the workplace can profoundly impact employees and organizations in ways they may not have considered. The following are four implications that may result from workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation: 

#1. Employee Physical and Mental Health

Mistreatment in the workplace can impact a victim’s physical and mental health due to the stress that comes with harassment. Organizations with no plan for handling situations involving discrimination, harassment, or failing to respond appropriately to complaints stand to leave victims significantly impacted. In addition to being left with little to no support, victims will experience additional stress that may affect their health in several ways, such as:

  • Inability to Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression
  • Injuries at Work
  • Health Conditions 

#2. Lower Productivity Levels

When employees feel unsafe or at risk of mistreatment or retaliation, their ability to maintain their productivity in the workplace is sure to be impacted. As our Maryland, adverse action attorney will note, lowered productivity levels aren’t just experienced by the person undergoing mistreatment. They reach other employees as well, making it a widespread issue for organizations that do not have a healthy culture or fail to take action when complaints of harassment are made. 

#3. Employee Retention

Toxic work environments breed high turnover for companies. When employees experience discrimination in the workplace, it can have a rippling effect on the rest of the company. As a result, employees may seek employment elsewhere, resulting in high turnover. Unfortunately, this can significantly impact an organization’s ability to operate smoothly and efficiently. 

#4. The Organization’s Bottom Line

High employee turnover, low morale, lowered productivity levels, and the possibility of costly litigation can all impact an organization’s profits. In addition, when issues in the workplace are evident, the information can quickly spread to stakeholders, clients, and even the media. As a result, the organization has the added impact of severe reputational damage. It’s more critical than ever for an organization to invest in training their workforce regarding harassment and developing clear protocols should employees voice complaints. 

Employee discrimination and harassment happen nearly every day. Research shows that a significant number of victims are women. Approximately 50% of women have reported experiencing some form of harassment in the workplace. However, it’s important to note that workplace harassment can impact anyone. Coming forward to report mistreatment can be incredibly difficult, and for some, it can be challenging to identify harassment and retaliation. Suppose you have experienced any of the following and have found that your organization has done little to take action or worse, retaliated. In that case, it’s imperative to consult with an attorney from the Federal Practice Group. To learn more about the legal process for situations involving workplace retaliation, contact a Maryland adverse action attorney as soon as possible. 

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