What to do about retaliation in the workplace that has been current and ongoing for last 5 years?

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What to do about retaliation in the workplace that has been current and ongoing for last 5 years?

I testified in an arbitration hearing against my employer 5 years ago (employees won). Since that time my employee file has grown (file was fine before that). The situation has culminated into another suspension and a proposed “last chance” contract. I have had 5 different bosses in the last 6 years and they all carry the same torch – seems prompted by higher administration. Things are escalating. Is there a time limit for a lawsuit of this type?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While you should consult with an employment law attorney in person about his situation (many provide a free initial consultation to evaluate a case) to be sure, you may not have a cause of action. There are laws making it illegal to retaliate against an employee for filing (or testifying) in certain specific causes of action, such as a claim about illegal discrimination or for overtime; there are also laws which protect employees when they bring criminal acts or certain safety violations by their employers to light; however, there is no law which generally protects an employee from retaliation when he or she has testified in arbitration hearings or even civil trials against his or her employer except as above. So if, for example, the arbitration in question was over a contract related dispute, it is not clear that there is any protection for you.

However, the only way to be sure is to discuss the specific facts of your case with an attorney. Given that *all* causes of action have a time limit, and the time limits for employment-related claims tend to be short, you should not waste any time in doing so, if you want there to be a chance of bringing some cause of action.


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