Holding Employers Accountable For Illegal Retaliation
Indiana is at-will employment state, which generally means an employer can terminate employment at any time with or without explanation. But workers do have some protections. Federal and state employment laws can curb an employer’s ability to abuse employment decisions – such as hiring, firing, promotions or pay – as tools to hurt employees.
Specifically, employers are prohibited by law from retaliating against employees who make complaints regarding discrimination or harassment. They also cannot fire employees who report or refuse to engage in illegal or unlawful activity. They cannot retaliate for requesting overtime pay or FMLA leave or maternity leave. The Indianapolis-based employment law attorneys at Cleveland Lehner Cassidy are dedicated to holding employers accountable for unlawful action taken against employees.
Did your employer fire you or otherwise retaliate for whistleblowing or exercising your employment rights? Explore your legal options in a free consultation at 317-953-2600.
What Does Employment Retaliation Look Like?
Backlash by management or coworkers can take several forms. It may be swift and overt or it may be more gradual and subtle. Retaliatory action may include one or more of the following:
- Termination of your employment (retaliatory discharge)
- Involuntary transfer to another department or location
- Demotion or reduction in pay
- Harassment creating a toxic work environment
- Imposing unfair work standards
- Assignment to menial or meaningless tasks
- Being overlooked for raises and promotions
- Reprimands and other disciplinary action
- Negative performance reviews
Know Your Rights In Employment Severance
Employers who want to reduce expenses or eliminate what they consider to be redundant positions may offer employees severance. They may also do it when they know they have violated the law and want to avoid an employee from bringing a lawsuit. A severance agreement can prohibit you from being able to sue your employer for retaliation, discrimination, harassment or any other unlawful conduct. If you have been offered severance, it is important to know whether it is because your employer has acted unlawfully and whether the compensation being offered is fair and reasonable under the circumstances.
Even if you ultimately decide to accept a severance offer, you should be aware of what you are signing. Like any employment contract, your severance agreement may be a long and complicated document that includes numerous terms that waive or curb your rights. It is important that you know the implications of signing a severance agreement, and whether any of its terms are unreasonable or unduly burdensome on you. If you are offered a severance package, do not hesitate to consult with an attorney. At Cleveland Lehner Cassidy, we can take a look at what you’re offered and advise you of how your employer may be trying to limit their liability or tie your hands. Our attorneys have fought for clients who experienced all kinds of mistreatment at work, so we understand that you may feel vulnerable during this time. We’ll treat you with compassion and respect while keeping your best interests in mind.
Can I File For Unemployment If I Accept Severance Pay?
Probably, but there’s a catch. While taking severance doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from unemployment, your severance pay may be deducted as an offset of your unemployment benefits. In other words, if you accept severance pay, it can reduce your unemployment benefits for a time. Our lawyers can help you understand all the ramifications and ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Explore Your Rights If Your Employer Retaliated
Whether you want to bring a lawsuit for the damages you suffered or you want to negotiate a severance and move on, our lawyers can provide the guidance and strong representation you deserve.
Talk to our attorneys about retaliation and your rights. Call Cleveland Lehner Cassidy at 317-953-2600 to schedule your free initial consultation today or reach out to us online. We take cases throughout Indiana.