Gay Man Fired For Complaining Of Harassment Can Bring Retaliation Claim

Many times people worry if they complain to their boss or supervisor about harassment, they may be retaliated against. In order to protect workers and encourage reporting, federal law makes it illegal to “retaliate” against employees who complain about discriminatory conduct. Retaliation includes negative employment actions such as firing, but also less obvious actions such as changing your work hours to a worse schedule, not promoting you, or assigning you to a different or more inconvenient location.

If you believe your employer has retaliated against you after complaining about discrimination or harassment, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for both the underlying action and retaliation. In fact, even if you’re not able to prove discrimination, you may still be able to win a claim for retaliation as long as you reasonably believed you were discriminated against.

A recent Oregon case found that the actions of a company firing a gay man two days after he complained of verbal abuse and harassment could be considered retaliation under federal law and should be decided by a jury. The court also found that he could bring a state case for harassment and sexual orientation discrimination.

If you believe you – or a coworker – have been discriminated against at work –- tell a supervisor. The law protects you. If your employer retaliates against you, you may be able to sue both for discrimination and any negative employment consequences as a result of your complaint.

For more information, please call one of our Atlanta employment lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP. We are dedicated to eliminating workplace discrimination and protecting worker’s rights.