Omid Nosrati

The cost of workplace retaliation for employers

Acts of workplace retaliation can not only affect work environments, but also careers. Victims of these hostile acts have recourse in the form of lawsuits against the company that allowed the illegal tactics to continue.

When it comes to plaintiff employees alleging workplace retaliation in trials, jurors can relate more to the employees. In numerous cases, that level of empathy could result in ruling against employers and their acts of retribution.

Employers and their attorneys understand these tendencies and the stakes involved in workplace retaliation claims that involve:

  • FMLA retaliation
  • Retaliation for medical leave
  • Retaliation for whistleblowing
  • Retaliation for reporting harassment and reporting discrimination

Adverse decisions not only damage their reputations, but also affect their bottom lines.

In addition to slight advantages plaintiffs enjoy, lawsuit verdicts have awarded significant financial damages to employees. A recent decision by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to add emotional distress damages could significantly increase the “price tag” employers will face in lawsuits alleging retaliatory acts.

In addition to that FLSA ruling, the traditionally pro-business 5th Circuit Court of Appeals joined the 6th and 7th circuits to hold that emotional distress damages without caps can be part of FLSA retaliation claims.

Employers continue to fine-tune their proactive strategies in preventing these costly claims. Many workplaces are ramping up anti-retaliation training to put a stop to these practices before they even start.

Yet, in spite of those efforts, employees continue to be victimized by vengeful employers for doing the right thing or taking the time necessary to attend to important issues.

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Omid Nosrati
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