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The right to complain about employer wrongdoing

Michigan workers may have plenty of reasons to dislike their jobs. Personality conflicts, differences in management styles and other day-to-day problems can reduce employee satisfaction. Workplaces can be imperfect, but employers are not permitted to be discriminatory.

Employees are protected against mistreatment by numerous federal and state employment laws. Discrimination involves treating a worker from a protected class differently than other workers, like denying a job to someone because of religious beliefs, national origin or gender. Victims of discrimination and co-workers who support them have rights to complain without fear of employer retaliation.

An employer can be unhappy about discrimination complaints filed by job applicants or employees. However, companies may not engage in retaliatory practices to discourage or punish workers for exercising their legal rights. An employer may not take unlawful actions against workers who file or threaten to file complaints or refuse to take part in workplace discriminatory practices.

A worker has a right to oppose and report job discrimination, support a mistreated co-worker and assist in investigations into employment violations. An employer cannot retaliate by harassing, threatening, demoting or discharging an employee or by taking any other adverse actions. Additionally, retaliation against employees who have filed discrimination complaints against employers is unacceptable.

Adverse actions don't include every reaction to a complaint. A boss's negative comments and ostracization by colleagues are undeniably unpleasant experiences, but they are not retaliatory responses. Also, any change in work status due to justified poor performance is excluded. In other words, the quality of your work must continue to meet company standards.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces civil rights laws and investigates worker discrimination complaints. State laws also provide protection. However, it's important to be certain of your legal boundaries. The employment attorneys at Akeel & Valentine PLC guide and represent employees who intend to file or who have filed workplace discrimination claims.

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Akeel & Valentine, PLC
888 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 910
Troy, MI 48084-4748
Phone: 248-918-4542
Toll Free: 888-832-1706
Fax: 248-269-9119
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360 Porter St., Suite 200
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 248-918-4542
Toll Free: 888-832-1706
Fax: 248-269-9119
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