What to Do About Employer Retaliation at Work
While in some situations litigation in the state or federal courts will be the most effective way to resolve the problem on favorable terms, in other cases a negotiated severance might achieve substantially similar results more quickly and inexpensively.
Call 612-294-2600 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer.
The Client: HR Director in corporate center of major multi-national locally based Fortune 50 Company with over 30 years of devoted, successful service.
Problem: Client was terminated in RIF and offered one week of pay for every year of service, with some favorable stock vesting terms, but forfeiture of unvested options.
Approach: Larry Schaefer litigated age discrimination and retaliation claims successfully through extensive discovery and over 10 depositions, overcoming summary judgment and preparing for two-week trial.
Solution: Secure settlement of over 600K one month before trial, with termination converted to resignation, reference letter, and more favorable stock vesting terms.
The Client: Three high-performing, long-tenured female sales representatives of Oncology-focused Pharmaceutical Sales Company
Problem: Clients were terminated after alleging sex discrimination/harassment claims, allegedly for sales results and other failure to follow policy/foster “teamwork”.
Approach: Larry Schaefer filed detailed Federal Court Complaint in California alleging retaliation and gender discrimination/harassment and engage California legal counsel retained by company in mediation as a result.
Solution: Mediation resulted in aggregate settlement for three clients for in excess of 600K, with terminations converted to resignation and reference letters and outplacement services.
The Client: Company Chief Information Officer on involuntary leave.
Problem: Placed on leave and threatened with termination for alleged policy violations after complaining about CEO’s abusive and discriminatory conduct toward his department, serious data privacy invasions against employees, and false statements made against CIO.
Approach: Larry Schaefer raised whistleblower, retaliation and defamation claims in draft Complaint sent to counsel hired by company, and engage directly in extensive negotiations concerning appropriate separation terms.
Solution: Secured over six months of severance, waiver of non-compete and other terms which allowed CIO to immediately move to similar position in other arm of organization in Tennessee.
The Client: Founder and Principal of charter school
Problem: Terminated by School Board after refusing to participate in an illegal operating practice of school.
Approach: Drafted detailed and powerful demand letter and engaged in mediation
Solution: Secured a significant six-figure settlement at mediation.
Just as employees are entitled to certain workplace rights under state and federal law, employees are protected from retaliation by their employers for invoking those rights. Retaliation can take a variety of forms: poor performance reviews, undesirable transfers or work assignments, suspension, probation or termination.
Too often, employees encounter retaliation in the workplace for such prohibited reasons as the following:
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Taking family leave, medical leave or pregnancy leave
- Reporting illegal conduct on the part of a manager or supervisor
- Cooperating with a government investigation into the employer’s finances, labor practices or workplace safety procedures
- Reporting a publicly traded company’s violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Supporting a co-worker’s complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment
- Engaging in protected whistleblower activity under federal or Minnesota law
The key to success in a retaliation claim is proving the connection between adverse employer action and conduct by an employee that is expressly protected by law.
In many cases, however, it makes sense to use the evidence of retaliation developed in our investigation of the facts as leverage in negotiating a severance package that reflects fair compensation to the employee. By the time the situation approaches litigation, the relationship between the company and the employee is usually damaged beyond repair, and it’s healthier for the individual to move on.
Schaefer Halleen, LLC,’s employment lawyer’s work hard to ensure that you can depart a toxic workplace atmosphere on the most favorable terms possible. We also offer sound advice about what you can expect in a negotiated severance, and when it makes sense to take your claims to court.
For additional information about the best ways to protect your rights in a case of employer retaliation in Minnesota, North Dakota or western Wisconsin, contact Schaefer Halleen, LLC, in Minneapolis for a free consultation.
To discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer, please call 612-294-2600.
What Our Clients Say
While the Firm will always seek to discuss settlement if it is in the client's interest, it will not hesitate to move forward with litigation and take every step necessary to prove your case in court. I have complete confidence in the Firm's ability to handle all aspects of my claim, and to give me the best chance of holding my former employer accountable for its illegal discrimination and retaliation.
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