Do I have a case for retaliation?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have a case for retaliation?

As a state employee in Massachusetts, 5 of us met with HR to report our boss as a
bully. I also met with union steward to talk about filing a grievance in violation of a
mutual repeat clause in the union agreement. The following Monday my boss told
me that I would no longer supervise my 2 teams and would be put on another team
under him. I had received an ‘Exceeded expectation’ on my Performance Review a
few weeks earlier. Do I have a case for retaliation?

Asked on October 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You only have a case for retaliation if you have a written employment contract, including a union or collective bargaining agreement, which bars retaliation for bringing complaints. Otherwise, retaliation is legal: there is no law giving employees the right to complain about their boss, or barring the boss from taking action against employees who retailiate against him.
If you have a contract or union agreement, then you need to reference the *exact* terms of the agreement and see how they apply to this situation: contracts are enforced according to their specific terms.

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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