Can I have a successful case for retaliation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I have a successful case for retaliation?

I sent an email to my manager about feeling uncomfortable at the workplace because I was being harrassed by a supervisor. We did not have someone in HR at the moment and he was the only one that could come up with a solution. He ignored my email and pretended he never saw it and fired me 2 days later without giving any explanation.

Asked on December 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

What kind of harassment? If it was based on your race, color, national origin, sex, age 40 or over, disability or religion, you'd likely have a viable retaliation claim: an employer may not retaliate against (as this appears to have been, based on timing) an employee for bringing one of these protected complaints to the employer's attention.
However, only the above complaints are protected--i.e. an employer may not harass you, and therefore retaliate against you due to, one of these protected reasons. If the supervisor did not like you personally (nothing to do with race, religion, etc.), or you and he/she had some past personal history, or the supervisor did not like your politics or choice of music or your tatoos/piercings/clothing or pretty much anything else that is not one of those protected categories, then the supervisor could harass you and the employer could terminate you for complaining about it. Employers may harass employees as much as they want so long as it is not due to one of those few protected reasons or categories.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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