Steffans Legal Represents Employees in unlawful retaliation cases in Pittsfield, North Adams, Springfield, Worcester, Lowell, Fall River, New Bedford, and Cape Cod
Our society depends on employees being able to voice concerns and challenge unlawful behavior free from retaliation. Unfortunately, employees who do voice their concerns frequently suffer unlawful retaliation. Thankfully, numerous state and federal laws prohibit retaliation and protect employees who ‘blow the whistle.’
Steffans Legal has over 12 years of experience in representing individuals facing workplace retaliation across the state of Massachusetts, including New Bedford, Worcester, Lowell, Hyannis, Springfield, and Pittsfield. During those 12 years, we have represented individuals who were retaliated against for challenging unlawful harassment, unlawful discrimination, and unlawful wage-and-hour practices. During that time, we are routinely asked the following questions. Feel free to read those and the content throughout this site to determine if you have a valid retaliation claim. And, as always, contact us to schedule a free consultation at any time. We want to help.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Workplace Retaliation
Have I been retaliated against? Generally speaking, retaliation exists when an employer takes some sort of adverse action against an employee because that employee has done something. If you can establish that something you did caused your employer to take action against you, you may have a retaliation claim.
Is all retaliation illegal? No. Retaliation is only unlawful if the adverse action is taken because the employee engaged in a specific category of conduct known as protected activity. Complaining about a dress code is not protected activity. Complaining about unpaid wages, not being paid overtime, unlawful discrimination, unlawful harassment, or unsafe working conditions is protected activity. You can’t be fired for that. In fact, you can’t be disciplined or treated negatively in any way for challenging those types of things.
Am I a whistleblower? Practically speaking, a whistleblower is a word used to describe someone who engages in protected activity. A whistleblower is not someone who complains about a dress code, for example, but is someone who complains about something he or she thinks is unlawful. You can’t be retaliated against for complaining about something you think is unlawful.
I’m employed at will? Does that matter. No. Employers can’t unlawfully retaliate against any employee: even one employed at will.
How do I prove my case? The strongest way to prove a retaliation claim is through direct evidence. That type of evidence includes comments directed at you or about you that suggest your employer is reacting negatively to your protected activity. Labeling you as a troublemaker, not a team player, or as having an attitude problem can amount to direct evidence of retaliatory intent. Another good way to prove your case is by showing that a small period of time elapsed between your protected activity and the retaliatory action.
What do I get if I win? Your main forms of compensation, if you succeed, are lost wages and compensation for emotional distress. You may also be entitled to punitive damages. You will also be entitled to compensation for attorneys’ fees you incur, even if you are represented on a contingent fee basis.
Can you help? Yes. All we do is employment law. We do nothing else. Also, we represent both employers and employees in retaliation claims, which provides us with a unique understanding of both sides on a retaliation claim.