Employers nationwide, including in Florida, are not permitted to retaliate against workers who reported violations of their rights as employees. An employee of a county jail in another state recently filed a second lawsuit against his employers, alleging retaliation after the first lawsuit. In 2012 the man filed a whistleblower complaint about religion discrimination, and a settlement with the county was reached in 2014. Part of the settlement agreement stated that the county would provide prison staff with obligatory anti-discrimination training.
However, the jail deputy alleges retaliation since then has become unbearable. He contends that he has not been considered for promotions, and performance reports depicted him as an incompetent worker. Court documents indicate that three applications for positions as an open sergeant since 2014 were denied. The man asserts that, on one occasion, he was informed that his previous lawsuit resulted in the management not wanting to work with him.
Before filing the 2014 lawsuit, the man said his co-workers harassed him on Facebook by posting anti-Semitic remarks about him. Following the lawsuit, he claims this harassment by colleagues continued. He alleges that reporting this discrimination resulted in his suspension. In the 2014 lawsuit the jail deputy sought $50,000 but ultimately settled for $35,000 plus attorney fees and vacation time of 120 hours.
No worker in Florida or any other state should be marginalized due to his or her religion. Retaliation after complaints were filed is also unacceptable, and employees are entitled to take action to try and put an end to stressful workplace conditions. With the support and guidance of an experienced employment law attorney, a lawsuit against an employer that allows the violation of employee rights may be successfully navigated. Effective presentation of the claim could result in recovery of financial and emotional damages, along with other relief.
Source: oregonlive.com, "Clackamas County jail deputy sues county for 2nd time claiming retaliation for prior lawsuit", Everton Bailey Jr., Oct. 6, 2016