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Understanding Employer Retaliation Claims

People get fired for any number of reasons. Some people get fired because they didn’t do good work, were late for work, or didn’t get along with other employees. Others lose their jobs because of a downturn in the economy or because their employer is simply hitting a rough patch.

Workers who lose their jobs often think that they have an employment claim, but this is not always the case. It is important to understand the basics of retaliation claims so you will understand whether your situation may give rise to a claim.

What is an Employment Retaliation Claim?

The retaliation laws protect certain employees from being fired, demoted, or suffering any other adverse employment actions. However, the scope of this protection is fairly limited. Under the federal retaliation laws, employers cannot retaliate against employees for (1) complaining about discrimination in the workplace or (2) participating in an employment discrimination proceeding (ex. filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

What Conduct Amounts to “Retaliation”?

“Retaliation” is a broad term under the law. It includes termination, demotions, reduction in benefits, denial of training, layoffs, and alteration of any other conditions of an employee’s employment. But, the retaliation must be tied to a complaint about discrimination or participation in a protected employment action.

Does Louisiana Have a Retaliation Law?

Louisiana does have it’s own retaliation (or “whistleblower law“). Under the Louisiana law, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who advises the employer of a violation of the law and:

(1) Discloses or threatens to disclose a workplace act or practice that is in violation of state law.

(2) Provides information to or testifies before any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry into any violation of law.

(3) Objects to or refuses to participate in an employment act or practice that is in violation of law.

However, employees considering bringing claims under the Louisiana whistleblower law must keep in mind that an unsuccessful claim may entitle the employer to recover attorney’s fees and costs from the employee.

New Orleans Employment Lawyer

If you’ve been fired for complaining about discrimination on the job, The Mahone Firm can help. Call (504) 564-7342 to discuss your case with a business litigation lawyer today.


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