December 2, 2023

Workplace retaliation can be devastating, and it can break the law and can lead to huge problems. It is essential for the members in the organization to understand workplace retaliation in depth. According to an employment lawyer in Toronto Stacey Ball retaliation happens when an employer fires, reduces the salary or shifts the job of an employee in an illegal manner.

What Does Retaliation Look Like?

Let’s have a small story to understand this concept;

Maria comes to HR complaining that, “Tom keeps asking me out on dates. I refused to do so.” Tom who is a senior of Maria, changes her shift, just because Sonia refused.

This is a classic case of retaliation. Maria complained about sexual harassment, and you punished her by moving her to another department. Now, it cannot happen that her pay remains the same and seniority is not affected. This isn’t retaliation. And besides, Maria didn’t even say it was sexual harassment.”

The employee doesn’t have to use the magic words to receive legal protection for their actions. Maria complained about unwanted sexual behavior in her department; therefore it’s a sexual harassment complaint.

Let’s take a look in one more example;

Mike has 40,000 Twitter followers, including several coworkers. He posts a picture of his paystub.

One of his colleagues take a screenshot and presents it to the boss. Mike has named the company, and many people have replied and retweeted his tweet. As a result, the boss calls Mike into the office and tell him that he has violated the company’s social media policy, and for doing such, boss suspends him for two weeks without pay.

This now basically is illegal retaliation for concerted activities. As per the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), if employees are terminated, suspended, or otherwise penalized for taking part in a protected group activity, the Board will fight against to restore what was unlawfully taken away.

Now, of course, there are cases where retaliation is much more clearly visible. Joe complains of racial discrimination. The boss immediately fires Joe for a poor attitude.

But, activities and actions like these may need the advice of expert such as employment lawyer in Toronto Stacey Ball.

Is Retaliation Always Illegal?

Well not always.

Employment lawyer in Toronto Stacey Ball has suggested that retaliation is only illegal when the action is taken that precedes the retaliation is protected by law. This can vary from state to state or nation to nation. It is always illegal to retaliate against an employee for actions such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and concerted workplace activities. Some place has whistleblower protections which protect employees who bring up any variety of illegal activities or tasks.

Organizations need to train managers as not to retaliate, and to report all protected complaints to the HR.

It is critical to think through your actions before you take them. You can take the guidance of employment lawyer in Toronto Stacey Ball in severe matters such as loss in salary or being fired from the job.