Jeffrey H. Ruzal, a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in SHRM.org, in “Plaintiffs Can Now Receive Emotional Distress Damages in Wage and Hour Retaliation Claims,” by Allen Smith.
Following is an excerpt:
Inadvertent retaliation might crop up when a manager becomes particularly alert to time-tracking and pay practices for an employee who has lodged a wage and hour complaint with HR, noted Jeffrey Ruzal, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green in New York City. Suppose a manager in good faith creates a new, fail-safe way to account for all of the complaining employee’s worktime, requiring him or her to record time on multiple platforms such as clocking in and out, plus a time sheet, and a daily e-mail. The new procedure might be so allegedly vexing for the worker that the employee leaves, claiming that the employer forced the worker out of the job. The manager’s reaction to the original complaint may have been innocent, even conscientious, but now the employer will have to defend against a retaliation claim that could carry emotional distress damages. …
As for managers that intentionally retaliate, there should be zero tolerance for them acting outside the scope of their job description, Ruzal said. “Such behavior puts the employer at significant risk of liability and is disruptive and toxic to the workplace,” he noted.