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Speak up without fear: Protection against employer retaliation

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Discrimination, Sexual Harassment |

When caught in situations of sexual harassment or discrimination, employees are in a vulnerable position, having a lot to lose. This applies to both victims and witnesses. Hence, it is understandable that people hesitate to report these misconducts for fear of retaliation.

Nonetheless, anyone stepping forward to report workplace harassment or discrimination has shields against retaliation. Knowing these protections can provide victims and witnesses peace of mind and courage to report such unacceptable behavior.

Federal and state law protections

The U.S. Civil Rights Act prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting discrimination, participating in a discrimination investigation or proceeding or otherwise opposing discrimination. This prohibition allows individuals to file a charge against their employer if they believe they have been retaliated against because of said actions.

Moreover, Department of Labor agencies provide whistleblower protection, which includes anti-retaliation laws against discrimination and harassment. States may also have specific whistleblower laws, such as New York’s “The City’s Whistleblower Law” and New Jersey’s “Conscientious Employee Protection Act.”

Policy handbooks as a shield

An employer’s policy handbook can serve as a protection against retaliation in several ways. A well-crafted and law-abiding policy handbook should outline clear policies that prohibit sexual harassment and discrimination, including retaliation against those who report such behavior.

Moreover, it should provide the reporting and investigation procedures, ensuring that employees can safely report incidents without fear of immediate reprisal from a direct supervisor or others in their chain of command.

Finding support tailored to your circumstances

If you are a victim of harassment or discrimination or a witness of such incident, seeking personalized guidance from a knowledgeable employment law attorney can help you take the suitable step to protect your rights without fear of retaliation.