Retaliatory termination is an umbrella term that refers to an employer firing an employee for doing something protected by Ohio or federal law. It’s also commonly referred to as whistleblower retaliation or wrongful termination. Whatever the label, though, if you have been wrongfully terminated for standing up to illegal behavior at work, call a wrongful termination lawyer to protect your rights.
Many Ohio and federal whistleblower laws forbid employers from retaliating against employees for objecting to illegal behavior at work. For instance, anti-retaliation provisions can be found in:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Race, color, religion, sex, and national origin discrimination).
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act. 29 U.S.C. § 623(d).
- The Americans with Disabilities Act. 42 U.S.C. § 12203(a).
- The Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3).
- The Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act. (Employees who report corporate fraud and securities fraud). 12 U.S.C. § 5567; 18 U.S.C. §1514A.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3) (Overtime and minimum wage violations).
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 29 U.S.C. § 660(c) (Workplace safety).
- Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation law. O.R.C. § 4123.90.
These laws are just a few of the more common examples. In general, Ohio and federal laws that protect employee rights will also protect employees from retaliation for asserting those rights.
How can I prove wrongful termination as a whistleblower?
Proving wrongful termination requires showing the employee engaged in what’s called “protected activity” and that the employer took some negative action against the employee as a result. What activity counts as protected depends on the statute involved and the facts of the case. In general, though, typical examples of protected activity in retaliation cases are:
- Filing a discrimination lawsuit or charge of discrimination with the appropriate federal or state agency.
- Reporting discrimination and harassment at work.
- Objecting to sexual harassment or other workplace discrimination against yourself or others.
- Refusing an employer’s orders to violate the law.
- Being a witness in a discrimination lawsuit or investigation.
- Objecting to unsafe working conditions or refusing to perform dangerous work under certain circumstances.
- Requesting accommodation of a disability or religious practice.
- Taking maternity leave or other leave under the FMLA.
- Filing for workers’ compensation.
- Reporting abuse of a nursing home patient or child.
Timing is often a crucial factor in retaliation. If an employee engages in protected activity and is fired very soon after, be evidence of retaliation.
Retaliatory termination lawyer for Ohio employees
Talking to an employment lawyer is the best way to know whether you might have a retaliatory termination claim. If you have been fired for standing up to illegal behavior at work, call the wrongful termination lawyers at Bolek Besser Glesius for a free consultation.