Unlawful workplace retaliation can take many forms, and an employee may even have a claim for activity outside of work. For example, as explained by the EEOC in his June 2019 press release, an employer can be liable where it prohibits or otherwise harasses an employee for participating in a Title VII investigation, lawsuit or other proceeding – even if the participation has nothing to do with the employee’s current job.

As explained by the EEOC, the employer in the case at issue sought to prevent its current employee, a coal miner, from testifying in a Title VII (national origin, race, color, sex or religion discrimination) case against another coal company. Upon learning of his plans to testify against an entirely different company, the employee’s current “supervisor took a series of retaliatory actions against him, including telling Atkins he should never testify against a coal company, giving him the ultimatum of transferring to a remote worksite or to leave his job altogether. The retaliation resulted in the termination of Atkins’s employment.”

Simply put, an employer cannot punish an employee for supporting another individual’s allegations of unlawful discrimination, whether that support occurs in the job or outside of it.

If you have been harassed, retaliated against, or treated differently than other employees because you supported a claim of discrimination, you have rights. Ethan White and Emery Law have more than a decade of pure litigation experience, primarily focusing on employee-side employment disputes, including discrimination and retaliation. We have near daily courtroom experience in both state and federal courts, including DuPage, Cook, and Will counties. We have tried cases in DuPage County, Cook County, and the Northern District of Illinois and have litigated matters in nearly every other county in the Chicagoland area. We look forward to working with you.