A disgruntled journalist and former employee of WDBJ-TV shot and killed a news reporter and cameraman on live TV earlier this year. Nearly two years after being laid off from his reporting position, 41-year-old Vester Lee Flannigan II emptied his handgun into his ex-colleagues from a point-blank range, according to a NY Daily News report. Live audiences watched in horror, including fellow news reporters. At least 14 gunshots were heard on the video feed.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of workplace retaliation, contact an experienced Queens employment attorney right away.
Unfortunately, the general public is often unaware that laws have been put in place to protect employees from workplace retaliation. The same laws that prohibit workplace discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender also protect employees from workplace retaliation. These laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Employers are prohibited from punishing – or retaliating against – employees for filing discrimination or harassment complaints. In fact, employees are protected from retaliation if they just participate in a workplace investigation of harassment or discrimination. Several negative employer actions can be considered punishment such as firing, demotion, denial of a raise or transfer, as well as exclusion from training or mentoring opportunities.
Retaliation can take more subtle forms, too. Generally, retaliation occurs when an employer takes negative action against an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity.
What is Retaliation?
Three main terms are used to describe workplace retaliation: adverse action taken by an employer against a covered individual as a result of his or her involvement in a protected activity.
- Adverse action – examples include termination, denial of promotion, refusal to hire, employment threats, negative evaluations that are not justified, increased surveillance, and other actions. Covered individual – a covered individual is someone who has opposed unlawful practices; has participated in proceedings; or has requested accommodations related to workplace discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Additionally, individuals who have a close association with the aforementioned person(s) who engaged in protected activity are also protected.
- Protected activity – protected activities are those in opposition to an act or practice believed to be prohibited discrimination, and may include: complaining about alleged discrimination or harassment; threatening to file a discrimination charge; picketing in opposition, or refusing to obey an order believed to be discriminatory.
Labor Law Attorney
If you or someone you know has been the victim of workplace retaliation, or any other work-related discrimination, contact the skilled legal professionals at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. right away. Call (347) 464-8694 today for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys and legal staff will listen to your story, provide advice about your rights under state and federal laws, and put the best case forward on your behalf.