Retaliatory actions can take many different forms, some more egregious than others. It’s important to be aware of what can be considered retaliatory so that you can act quickly to defend your rights. For instance, the retaliation does not have to be as severe as discharge from employment. It can also include suspension, demotion, relocation, or some other unfavorable or adverse action that affects your job benefits or terms. A reduction in your work hours, pay rate, or a demotion to a lower role, for instance, can all be considered retaliatory actions for which your employer can be liable.
Your employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising your rights under North Carolina law. For example, your employer cannot take retaliatory action against you if you:
- File (or even threaten to file) a workers’ compensation claim or a claim under the Wage and Hour Act.
- Contact OSHA or try to enforce any provision of the Mine and Safety Health Act.
- Seek job-related protection for your service in the National Guard.
- Report an inter-office crime to local law enforcement or other applicable agency.
Your attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and if so, you will work together to file a claim with the North Carolina Commissioner of Labor. You must do so within 180 days of the alleged violation, so it is critical to act as quickly as possible if you believe you have a viable claim.
Our attorneys have experience representing employees in actions before the Commissioner of Labor. Contact us immediately if you think you have a case so we can ensure your claim is filed before the expiration of the 180-day period.