Understanding the law surrounding employer retaliation

Texas businesses may be interested in some information about the legal standard for employer retaliation cases in the U.S. According to the United States Supreme Court, retaliation isn’t limited to just firings and pay cuts; it can come in many forms.

When it comes to wrongful discharge of an employee, there can often be a fine line between what is legal and what is not. While terminating someone’s employment because they do not perform their job correctly is legal, firing them in retaliation for some other action is not okay. A Supreme Court decision from a few years back gave us a legal standard for determining whether an action on the part of the employer is considered retaliation. This standard defines retaliation as any materially adverse move by the employer meant to stop a reasonable worker from making discrimination claims in the workplace. This could be a job reassignment or other action on the part of the employer.

This ruling gives employees some specific things to watch out for if they are complaining about any type of discrimination or otherwise trying to exercise a legal right at work. If there is some adverse action taken by the employer to stop the employee from exercising these rights, there may be a cause of action. It is important to note that there needs to be a connection between the adverse action and the complaint, however. The adverse action does not need to be termination, a demotion or a pay cut, however. It just needs to be materially adverse to the employee.

In order to avoid possible litigation, it may be beneficial for an employer to work with legal professionals. Analyzing a termination to determine whether a situation might result in employment litigation can be difficult without the guidance of an attorney. The attorney may be able to assess the situation and provide an employer with advice regarding a possible termination or legal action.

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