Retaliation Lawyers

Have you requested leave only to suddenly suspended of reprimanded? Were you terminated or suspended shortly after returning from medical leave? Is fear of retaliation preventing you from discussing spending time with your newborn child? If so, you might have been retaliated against for taking or requesting leave.

Houston employment lawyers Robert J. Wiley and Kalandra N. Wheeler represent Houston employees who have experienced workplace retaliation. In fact, retaliation is one of the biggest violations of law that our Houston office sees. What makes retaliation particularly offensive is the fact that in essence it is trying prevent or punish workers for requesting or taking leave which has been expressly allowed under the law.

Regardless if you have requested leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) or another statute there is a very good chance that that law has a retaliation portion which in essence outlaws retaliation for requesting leave under that particular law.

As mentioned earlier, retaliation is one of the most common forms of discrimination found in the workplace. Generally, a retaliation claim has three basic elements: (1) the employee engaged in a protected activity, (2) the employer took an adverse employment action against the employee, and (3) the adverse action was the result of the employee engaging in the protected activity.

Many activities can satisfy the requirement of engaging in protected activity. If you are an eligible employee that works for a covered employee common examples of what has been considered protected activity under the FMLA include:
  • Requesting leave to care for an newborn child;
  • Taking time off to recuperate after surgery; and
  • Caring for a spouse while they recover from a serious illness.
Second, you must prove that you have suffered an adverse employment action. An adverse employment action has been interpreted to mean such actions such as:
  • Failure to promote;
  • Failure to hire;
  • Termination;
  • Suspension; and
  • Being put on a performance improvement plan.
Finally, most cases of retaliation revolve around the third requirement. Was your leave or request for leave the cause of the adverse employment action? This is may also be the most difficult question to answer but there are several indications that help determine that inquiry. Questions that may help in determining this issue include:
  • Was your leave or request for leave shortly followed by the adverse employment action?
  • Was the actual stated reason for the adverse employment action the fact you took leave?
  • Were you verbally warned about possible repercussions before taking your FMLA approve leave?
Being retaliated is a horrible place to be. You have may still be recovering from an infirmity or injury and now to make matters worse your job may very well be in peril. You should not be punished for wanting care for a loved one or wanting to spend time with a newborn child. The only way to defend not only your rights as a hard working employee but those of others is to step forward. It can be difficult to step forward and take a stand and that is why you need a team of professionals that will be with you every step of the way.

For example, if you are only anticipating your employer to retaliate against it may be still a good idea to consult with one of our Houston attorneys. If possible we will make sure that your complaint is considered a protected activity. Additionally, the mere fact that an attorney represents you may make your employer less likely to retaliate against you. After communicating with your employer, and if they are not willing to resolve the underlying problem, we can then attempt to negotiate a severance package so that you are able to walk away from such a toxic environment.

Take Action

If you feel you have been retaliated against, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. There may be deadlines that require a quick turnaround. If you choose to contact us, you will generally meet with an attorney to discuss your matter. If we believe a violation of the law has occurred and if you decide to hire us, we will sign a representation agreement and enforce your rights.