Rhode Island employees who believe they have suffered retaliation in the workplace will generally not have a legally actionable claim unless the adverse action was (1) actionable retaliation under the Rhode Island Whistleblower Act, or, (2) in violation of the anti-retaliation provisions of other laws, including the FLSA, FMLA, Title VII, Section 1981, the ADA, and the ADEA.

Many of the laws and regulations protecting an employee’s right to work in an environment free from discrimination or disparate treatment also provide for protection against retaliatory behavior on the part of the employer. The following statutes, among others, contain provisions protecting an employee’s right to work free of retaliatory conduct:

These statutes contain provisions that make it unlawful for an employer to take an adverse employment action against an employee who (1) opposes behavior made unlawful under the statute, or, (2) participates in any type of proceeding relating to a claim under the statute. Adverse employment actions include, but are not limited to: disciplinary action, demotion, pay cuts, increased scrutiny, reprimands, and termination. In addition, there are several Rhode Island state statutes that prohibit workplace retaliation.

If an employer has violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the statutes named above, the employer may be liable for damages, including injunctive relief, back pay, front pay, liquidated damages, punitive damages, and/or attorneys’ fees and costs.

If you or someone you know believe you have been retaliated against for opposing unlawful workplace conduct, please contact us to discuss your matter.

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