Woman on phone looking out of a floor-length window

Reporting Workplace Retaliation

Retaliation in the workplace refers to an adverse action taken by an employer against an employee because the employee engaged in legally protected activity. This can include filing a complaint about discrimination or harassment, blowing the whistle on an employer's illegal activity, and participating in an investigation or lawsuit.

Reporting Mechanisms and Protections

Internal Reporting Systems

When combating workplace retaliation, internal reporting systems are often the first line of defense. Many companies establish channels such as hotlines, online portals, or designated personnel to handle complaints and reports. However, the effectiveness of these systems hinges on their ability to act impartially and promptly.

Trust in these systems is paramount; if employees fear that their reports will lead to further retaliation or that their concerns will be dismissed, the likelihood of them coming forward decreases significantly. A well-designed internal reporting system can empower employees, but it must be backed by a genuine commitment from the company to address the issues raised.

Anti-Retaliation Statutes and Enforcement

For situations where internal reporting is not feasible or has failed to resolve the issue, know that there are legal protections for engaging in protected activity and government administrative bodies enforcing anti-retaliation laws. For example, laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provide robust protections for individuals who report wrongdoing in certain industries. In Minnesota, the Minnesota Whistleblower Act protects employees who, for example, have reported illegal activity, refuse to commit illegal activity, assist the government with an investigation or participate in a hearing, and reporting violation of healthcare standards.

Beyond statutory protections, government bodies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) process retaliation claims and offer guidance and support.

Contact an Attorney

At Nichols Kaster PLLP, we understand the complexities of workplace retaliation and the profound impact it can have on employees. Our dedicated team of employment law specialists is committed to advocating for those retaliated against in the workplace. If you believe you have been a victim of unlawful retaliation, we encourage you to reach out to us.

Contact us today to ensure that your voice is heard and your career is protected.