Employment Retaliation Lawyers in Charlotte, Protecting the Rights of North Carolina Workers
Employees in the Tar Heel State enjoy protections under both federal and North Carolina law. Among the most important of your rights is freedom from retaliation for protected activities. A company cannot take punitive actions against a worker for certain reasons. However, things can get complicated since North Carolina is an at-will employment state. This means employers can typically fire you for many reasons — including no reason at all. If you feel you’ve faced improper punitive actions, however, speaking with an employment retaliation lawyer in Charlotte may be your best option.
At Harman Law, every employment attorney on our team has experience dealing with unfair treatment against workers and successfully filing retaliation claims. If you’re wrongfully punished for engaging in a protected activity, you may be entitled to compensation in addition to reinstatement of your position, wages, benefits, and other losses you may have suffered due to retaliatory actions. Contact Harman Law today to schedule a confidential consultation and better understand your rights.
What Is Employment Retaliation?
Employment retaliation is any punitive action taken against an employee for something they’ve done. In many instances, there is nothing illegal about such actions. For instance, a worker may be given an undesirable schedule because they keep showing up late for their shifts. The law does not prohibit punitive actions of this kind, but you typically also won’t hear these measures referred to as “employment retaliation.”
That’s because employment retaliation law focuses on improper retaliation. This occurs when punitive measures are used against an employee for engaging in a legal right. Such punitive measures include:
- Pay decrease
- Benefit cuts
- Changes to schedule or hours
- Intentionally giving undesirable assignments
- Only providing meaningless tasks
- Reassignment to a different location
- Any other punitive actions
Remember, any of these actions on their own do not necessarily prove retaliation has occurred which violates state or federal law. An adverse employment action is only illegal when it’s undertaken in response to certain legal actions by an employee. These are discussed in more detail below.
When Is Employment Retaliation Illegal Under State and Federal Law?
Laws that prohibit retaliation by an employer are clear about which employee rights are considered protected activity. At Harman Law, our employment retaliation attorneys in Charlotte represent employees who have been wronged in a way that violates North Carolina or federal law. If your employer has taken punitive action against you for any of the following, our law firm may be able to help:
- Reporting discrimination
- Speaking out against sexual harassment
- Pointing out workplace safety violations
- Discussing wages and benefits with co-workers
- Submitting a workers’ compensation claim
- Requesting reasonable accommodations for disability or religious purposes
- Reporting misconduct or filing a whistleblower claim
- Taking legally-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Engaging in any other activity protected by law
When unethical or illegal activities are occurring within a company or organization, managers and owners may be tempted to keep things quiet. After all, claims of discrimination or harassment don’t look good for any business in the modern world. There’s often an incentive to cover up such claims and prevent workers from engaging in certain activities. By going this route, however, employers can easily find themselves on the wrong side of state and federal law.
If you feel you’ve experienced an unlawful adverse action related to protected activities, reach out to Harman Law today to speak with retaliation attorneys in Charlotte who will advocate on your behalf.
What Compensation Is Available for a Retaliation Claim?
If you experienced an adverse employment action after reporting discrimination or engaging in other legally protected activities, you may be eligible for compensation. However, there is no “one size fits all” approach to filing retaliation claims. Cases involving adverse actions in the workplace can vary significantly depending on the underlying action that led to retaliation by the company.
For instance, filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may be appropriate when you reported discrimination based on national origin. However, a report to the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Bureau would be more appropriate for punitive actions related to North Carolina workers’ comp claims. Regardless of the approach you take, though, you’ll often find that employment lawyers in Charlotte may be able to help you recover damages such as:
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Future lost wages if you’re unable to return to your position
- Legal and attorney fees associated with your claim
- Compensatory damages such as unpaid overtime
- Additional liquidated damages
In essence, retaliation claims are often separate from the underlying wrongful act that led to retaliatory acts in the first place. For instance, you may be entitled to compensation if you experienced discrimination or harassment due to your race, gender, religion, or other protected classes.
If your employer then retaliates against you for reporting such discrimination, it’s a completely different legal matter. Whether the appropriate response is to submit a claim to the proper agency or file a lawsuit in court, the Charlotte employment retaliation attorneys at Harman Law are ready to help.
Contact an Employment Retaliation Lawyer in Charlotte Today
If you feel your employee rights have been violated, you may be unsure of how to move forward. You might feel as if things will only get worse if you pursue a claim, and it may seem preferable to simply accept what has happened and try to achieve a sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, this approach will likely only convince your employer that they can get away with such actions. This can cause major issues now and down the line.
If you’ve witnessed employment discrimination or any other violation of workers’ rights, an employment retaliation attorney in Charlotte may be able to help. The legal team at Harman Law can help you better understand how to file a retaliation claim, and if you’re considering reporting improper actions, we may be able to help you avoid any adverse action in the first place. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a confidential consultation. We’re ready to advocate for your rights.