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How Can I Prove Retaliation at Work in Lafayette, LA?

— June 28, 2022

You can recover damages for all the suffering and the emotional anguish you’ve experienced during the time you worked for the company.

Louisiana public and private employees are protected against discrimination in the workplace under both federal and state law. It is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on protected characteristics such as race, sex and sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age or disability, etc. Many employers in the Lafayette area have taken steps to ensure that there is zero-tolerance for any form of workplace discrimination, but there are still plenty of companies where such conduct is not only tolerated, but also encouraged by the upper management.

What constitutes workplace retaliation in Lafayette, LA?

According to the law, any employee who feels their rights are not respected has the right to file a discrimination complaint. If your company has an internal complaint procedure in place, you probably need to talk to your supervisor, your manager or someone in the HR department about your concerns.Your employer is required to investigate your complaint in a timely manner and inform you of their findings and the measures they took to put an end to your discrimination. At least, that’s what the law says. In real life, many Louisiana employees are shocked to discover that the employer does nothing to remedy the situation. On the contrary, the employer might retaliate against the employee making a complaint, although this is also illegal under state and federal employment laws. At the same time, any employee supporting a discrimination complaint is also protected against retaliation. 

Retaliation can take many forms. It can be quite subtle or shockingly brutal. For instance, the employee might get a bad performance review even though prior to their discrimination complaint nobody had any issue with their work. The employer might retaliate by making changes to the job description, reassigning the employee to a more difficult task or by operating a reduction in work hours, naturally followed by a pay cut.

In other cases, the employer will share the contents of the complaint with other staff members who will turn against their coworker who ‘doesn’t understand jokes’ or is not a ‘good team player’. The victim might become the butt of even more blatant acts of discrimination or find themselves excluded from important projects. 

In extreme cases, the employer will waste no time and find a convenient pretext to fire the employee who complained of discrimination. In such a case do not hesitate to contact an experienced Louisiana employment law attorney. The law is on your side.

Can I sue my employer for retaliation?

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Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

You have the right to file a discrimination and retaliation complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights Division. Either agency will investigate your complaint and offer to mediate a settlement between you and your employer. It is advisable to have a knowledgeable employment lawyer by your side, as your employer will certainly have one as well. 

You can recover damages for all the suffering and the emotional anguish you’ve experienced during the time you worked for the company. If you were fired in retaliation that constitutes wrongful termination and you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages. You can even ask to be reinstated if you so wish. 

There are situations when a settlement cannot be reached. The EEOC can decide to file a lawsuit on your behalf or they may issue a ‘notice to sue’ allowing you to take your employer to court. 

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