Fired In Retaliation For Complaints Or Claims?
Employers in Indiana can fire you for no particular reason. What they can’t do is fire you as punishment for filing certain complaints, claims or lawsuits against the company. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for these protected activities.
The employment law attorneys at Cleveland Lehner Cassidy have represented many victims of retaliatory discharge. We have seen every scenario from termination for reporting harassment to workers fired after getting injured or pregnant. Retaliation is illegal, and if it happened to you, we can help you sue your employer for damages.
If you were fired or expect to be fired as retaliation for speaking up, get proactive! Call in the Indiana employee rights attorneys of Cleveland Lehner Cassidy at 317-953-2600.
Wrongful Termination In Retaliation
Indiana’s “at-will” employment standard gives employers the power to terminate any employee with or without cause. But employers are liable if the underlying reason for termination is retaliation against an employee who engaged in statutorily protected conduct.
You may have a lawsuit for retaliatory discharge if you were let go as a result of:
- Reporting employment discrimination or harassment
- Filing a sexual harassment claim against a supervisor or coworker
- Requesting FMLA time off (Family and Medical Leave Act)
- Informing your employer of pregnancy or maternity leave
- Filing for workers’ comp disability after a job injury
- Whistleblowing on fraud or other illegal activity by the company
How Do I Prove It Was Retaliatory Discharge?
Employers are skilled at disguising retaliatory animus. Typically, employers will not fire a worker on the spot after filing a complaint or claim. Instead, more likely management plots the employee’s departure over several months.
Employers have to bide their time to make it seem like the termination is not connected to the protected activity and to make up a different reason for termination. Our lawyers are wise to these tactics. We look for clues that an eventual firing ties back to retaliation:
- How did the employer respond to the initial complaint or request? Did they take it seriously or try to bury it? Was your boss helpful and understanding or angry and hostile?
- Were you harassed or ostracized after filing a report?
- Were you disciplined, demoted or transferred before being fired?
- Did your positive performance reviews abruptly turn negative?
- Were you given a lame or vague reason for your termination?
- Has your employer refused to put anything in writing?
Should I Just Quit? They’re Going To Fire Me Anyway.
A common scenario is for employers to make your job so miserable that you quit. This is a ploy to punish you for making waves while avoiding a retaliatory discharge lawsuit. Every situation is unique, but we generally advise clients to stay on the job if possible. Your legal case will be stronger if you make them fire you, or you will be in a stronger position to negotiate a severance agreement if it’s clear you have no intention of walking away. (It is also harder to collect unemployment if you voluntarily separate.) Call our firm before submitting a resignation.
Get Help To Make Them Pay
Retaliatory discharge claims are difficult and nuanced. We are experienced trial lawyers who know how to get justice. Cleveland Lehner Cassidy welcomes wrongful termination cases in all occupations, from doctors, lawyers and teachers to police officers, nurses and blue collar workers.
Start with a free initial case evaluation by phone. Call our law office at 317-953-2600 or use our online form. Our Indianapolis-based firm handles cases statewide.