Dawicke Law
Jason E. Dawicke, Attorney at Law
Dawicke Law
P.O. Box 663
Lewis Center, OH 43035
614.477.7301
DawickeLaw@yahoo.com

Retaliation

An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise "retaliate" against you for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability also prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding. Additional retaliation laws protect employees who engage in what are commonly referred to as protected activities. For example, in Ohio, employers are not permitted to retaliate against individuals because they file workers' compensation claims.

Retaliation occurs when an employer takes an adverse action (i.e. termination, refusal to hire, denial of promotion, transfer to a less desirable shift or position, or unjustified negative performance evaluation) against an individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity. There are two types of protected activities. The first involves the opposition to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination. Opposition is informing your employer that you believe that it is engaging in prohibited discrimination. Opposition is protected from retaliation as long as it is based on a reasonable, good-faith belief that the complained of practice violates anti-discrimination law; and the manner of the opposition is reasonable.

Examples of protected opposition include:
  • Complaining to anyone about alleged discrimination against oneself or others
  • Threatening to file a charge of discrimination
  • Refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be discriminatory
The second type of protected activity involves the participation in an employment discrimination proceeding. Participation is a protected activity even if the proceeding involved claims that ultimately were found to be invalid.

Examples of participation include:
  • Filing a charge of employment discrimination
  • Cooperating in an internal investigation of alleged discriminatory practices
  • Serving as a witness in an EEO investigation or litigation
Significantly, you don't have to win your underlying discrimination claim in order to prevail in a retaliation lawsuit, and it is for this reason that retaliation claims are often stronger and more successful than the underlying discrimination claims themselves.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently defined retaliation quite broadly, to include any conduct by an employer that would tend to deter reasonable people from pursuing their rights.

If you feel that you have been subjected to some form of retaliation, please complete the following form fields:

All fields are required
Full Name:
Phone Number:
Email Address (if none, enter N/A):
Preferred Method of Contact:
Employer at Issue:
Form of adverse action suffered
(i.e. fired, laid off, demoted, etc.):
Date(s) of adverse action:
Describe the protected activity (see above) that you believe motivated your employer to retaliate against you:
What reason(s) do you anticipate that your employer will offer as justification for taking the adverse action against you?
Submission of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Upon review of your responses, I may offer to represent you. Unless and until you receive a signed letter from me confirming representation, I have not agreed to represent you. In addition, submission of this form does not relieve you from complying with all applicable statutory deadlines required for filing your claim(s) with the appropriate agency or court.