When an employee has the right or obligation to take action, the employer cannot punish the employee for taking that action.
For example, you cannot legally be disciplined, demoted, denied a promotion or fired because you have:
- Filed a workers’ compensation claim
- Reported child or adult abuse as mandatory reporter
- Reported your employer to the INS for immigration issues
- Complained to OSHA or your employer about unsafe working conditions
- Complained to the Department of Labor or your employer about overtime violations
- Provided truthful testimony in court or in a deposition
- Voted in an election
- Answered a call for jury duty
- Complied with a subpoena
- Served in the military, including National Guard duty
- Filed a claim for unemployment benefits
- Reported illegal behavior by a coworker, supervisor, or the company
- Complained about discrimination or assisted the victim of discrimination
In addition, a governmental employer cannot fire you for disclosing something that you reasonably believe violates a law, or constitutes an abuse of funds, abuse of authority, or a danger to public safety. This list does not contain every single basis that might exist for illegal retaliation.