What Evidence Can Be Used To Prove Unlawful Retaliation By An Employer In Florida?
Employees in Florida should be able exercise their legally protected rights without facing any type of punishment from their employer. Unfortunately, unlawful retaliation by companies and organizations is a problem. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notes that retaliation is the most common cause of action cited in federal sector employment claims.
Retaliation is also a common cause of action in employment law claims in Florida. This raises an important question: How do you prove retaliation? As with other types of legal cases, a claim should be supported by comprehensive evidence. In this article, you will find an overview of the evidence that employees can use to help support a retaliation claim in Florida.
Background: The Elements of a Retaliation Claim
As a starting point, it is important to understand how retaliation is defined under the law. To bring a successful retaliation claim in Florida, a worker generally needs to prove the following three things:
- Protected Activity: The employee must have engaged in legally protected activity. Examples include filing a complaint of discrimination, participating in an investigation, reporting sexual harassment, or opposing an unlawful employment practice.
- Adverse Employment Action: The employee must have suffered an adverse employment action. Examples include termination, demotion, suspension, or a significant decrease in pay or hours.
- Causal Connection: The adverse employment action must be causally connected to the employee’s protected activity. In other words, a worker must prove that they were punished because the employer is taking retribution against them for a protected activity.
An Overview of Evidence that Could Be Used to Prove Liability in a Retaliation Claim
How do you prove unlawful retaliation by your employer? You will need to build a strong and comprehensive case that is built on a foundation of reliable evidence. Here are some examples of evidence that may be used to support a retaliation claim by an employee in Florida:
- Proof of Protected Activity: A key piece of evidence is proof of protected activity. You need evidence that you file a claim, made a complaint, or engaged in other protected actions.
- Proof of Adverse Employment Action: You should also be prepared to provide an account of the exact adverse employment action that you were subject to by your employer.
- Text Messages, Emails, and Other Employer/Manager Statements: Employer statements—whether in text messages, emails, or in your personal account—can be useful to provide retaliatory animus. Be sure to take comprehensive notes.
- Witness Testimony: Statements from third party witnesses, such as co-workers, can also be a very important form of evidence in a retaliation claim.
- Temporal Proximity (Timing): Courts have ruled that temporal proximity—the closeness in time of two events—is a form of evidence in a retaliation claim. The timing between the protected activity and the adverse employment action can help you support your case.
Get Help From a Florida Workplace Retaliation Attorney Today
Employees should not face unlawful retaliation for exercising their legal protected workplace rights. If you have any questions about the evidence that can be used in an unlawful retaliation claim, consult with an experienced Florida employment lawyer for help with your case.