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What constitutes workplace retaliation?

As a member of the Florida workforce, you are an at-will employee, which essentially means your employer can terminate you at any time and for almost any reason. There are several key exceptions, however, and they involve your protected rights.

For example, you have a right to “blow the whistle” about wrongdoing at your place of employment, and your employer and coworkers may not harass or otherwise retaliate against you for making the decision to do so. Workplace retaliation can take on many forms.

Verbal or physical harassment or abuse

Your employer, coworkers and even clients and customers of your place of employment may not harass or abuse you orally or physically because you acted as a whistleblower.

Demotions or changes in job duties

If you face a demotion or receive orders to perform undesirable tasks that are different than your typical work duties, this too may be a form of workplace retaliation.

Pay cuts

The law also does not allow employers to dock your pay or reduce your salary because you chose to exercise one of your protected rights.

Assigning an undesirable or conflicting schedule

If you have never worked at night because of conflicting parental duties, and then your boss suddenly starts scheduling you overnight shifts after your whistleblowing action, this can be considered an act of workplace retaliation in the eyes of the law.

Threatening to contact authorities

For example, if you have an undocumented family member, and your employer or a colleague threatens to expose this and alert immigration authorities in the wake of your blowing the whistle, that individual may face serious consequences for raising that threat.

While all of these examples could potentially constitute workplace retaliation, every situation is different and dependent on the specific facts of the case. If you believe you have been a victim of workplace retaliation, consider getting in touch with an attorney.

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