Several laws enacted at the state and federal level prohibit retaliation against employees.
A. Violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
The heart of the National Labor Relations Act is Section 7, which set forth the right of employees. Section 7 states:
Employees shall have the right to self-organizations, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representative of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in Section 8(a)(3).
Under this definition, there are two general categories of protection afforded employees:(1) union activities and (2) protected concerted activities.
With regard to concerted activities, a union does not have to be involved, nor do union activities come into play.Rather, if two or more employees are acting together in the exercise of their rights in determining wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment, they are engaged in protected concerted activities.For example, the NLRB has found that the circulation of a petition asking for a wage increase or calling for a meeting of employees to draft a letter of complaint to management are protected concerted activities and covered by the right guaranteed in Section 7.[See, e.g. Meyers Indus, 268 N.L.R.B. 493 (1984), rev’d sub nom., Prill v. NLRB, 755 F.2d 941 (D.C. Cir.) cert. denied, 474 U.S. 971 (1985), aff’d, sub nom, Prill v. NLRB, 835 F.2d 1481 (D.C.Cir. 1987)]If they complain regarding job related issues such as, salary levels, promotions, health issues, scheduling and other working conditions.
B. Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended 1991 42 U.S.C. §2000, §1981,The American with Disabilities Act 42 U.S.C. §12203 , Age Discrimination in Employment Act §26 U.S.C. and the Arizona Civil Rights Act, A.R.S. § 41-1463
These federal laws prohibits retaliation against an employee who engaged actively in opposition to discrimination.The federal courts have articulated the following standard for discrimination cases:
“If any element of …retaliation or reprisal played any part in a challenged action, no matter how remote or slight or tangential, the Court would hold that the challenged action was in violation of …the law.”United States v. Hays International Corp. 6 FEP 1328, (ND La 1973).See also Hazel v. United State Postmaster General, 7 F.3d 1, 63 FEP 43 (1st Cir 1993)
The Arizona Employment Protection Act, ARS §23-1501 3.(c)ii, prohibits the termination of an employee for reporting a violation of the Constitution of Arizona or Arizona laws.Reporting Criminal violation including assault, battery and theft constitutes the type of activity protected by Arizona’s Whistleblower law.
Pursuant to the state whistleblowing statute, employees cannot be subject to discipline or termination if they report violations of Arizona law to law enforcement or their superiors.
D. Other Laws
Additionally, employees are protected from retaliation for reporting;
1)Health and safety concerns; ARS § 23-401 et seq.
2)Overtime violations; 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.
The Law Office of Phillip A. Austin and AZ Justice For All has successfully represented both employer and employees in the resolution of several such retaliation claims.
For further information or if you desire representation regarding an issue of retaliation or other employment matters, please contact the Law Office of Phillip A. Austin; AzJusticeForAll.com;
215 N. Robson; Mesa, AZ 85201; 480-644-0506 (Office); firstname.lastname@example.org (email)