Succeeding in today’s workplace is challenging enough without having to worry about discrimination based on race, sex, religion, ethnicity or another protected class. Unfortunately, illegal discrimination is not exactly rare in the Sunshine State. Nevertheless, your employer should not retaliate against you for complaining about impermissible workplace discrimination.
If you believe your employer has engaged in illegal workplace retaliation, you have one year to file a claim with the Florida Department of Human Relations. Here are three critical pieces of evidence to support your claim:
1. Evidence of timing
When proving a workplace retaliation claim, timing matters. If your employer takes adverse employment action soon after you exercise your legal rights, retaliation may be to blame. If a considerable amount of time passes, though, you may have a harder time proving retaliation. The same is true if your employer punishes you before you filed your claim unless you threatened to do so.
2. Evidence of knowledge
For a successful workplace retaliation claim, the person who fired, demoted or otherwise took negative action against you must have known that you engaged in protected conduct. This may be easy to prove, especially if you complained to the person who penalized you. Still, you may need to do some investigating to uncover evidence of knowledge.
3. Evidence of rationale
If you are the victim of workplace retaliation, your employer may have given you an explanation for the adverse employment action. For example, your boss may have told you that you were not meeting performance expectations. Even so, you may have direct evidence that contradicts your employer’s explanation. If that is the case, you may be able to prove that the explanation was merely pretext.
Building a successful case for illegal workplace retaliation can take time. Nonetheless, by understanding the sort of evidence you need, you can better advocate for your legal rights and your employment future.