Can speaking out about racism get one fired?

Employees of fashion brands as well as other industries have begun to share their stories about the experience of racism on the job. Residents of New York and the greater NY area will want to learn more about the results of speaking out.

According to an article in The Fashion Law, individuals at such companies as Reformation and Condé Nast have been voicing concerns regarding systemic racism. Employees want to know their rights in regard to employment when it comes to making public statements.

It has been well established that U.S. federal and state laws give employees legal protection from discrimination against racism or being fired. However, what happens when an employee speaks out against their employer for showing racism; can the employee be fired?

Since speaking out about a company may result in widespread ramifications to that business, some states, as well as the federal government, have laws that protect the employee from retaliation. Retaliation is prohibited, whether the employee is speaking or posting on social media.

The National Labor Relations Act (“NRLA”) is a federal law aimed at protecting the rights of employees and employers and encouraging collective bargaining. Wages, benefits and other conditions are protected. This applies to industries, such as manufacturers, retailers, private universities, and health care facilities and their employees.

Employees who are subject to discrimination or are subjects of employer retaliation should know that it is illegal. Consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, who is experienced in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints, is the right course. Whether it is a whistleblowing incident or retaliation for a workplace complaint, it is against the law, and the employer is accountable.

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