Workplace Retaliation is Unlawful

Federal and Colorado law prohibits employers from retaliating against an applicant, employee, or former employee because the individual engaged in protected activity under the law.

The law protects applicants, employees, and former employees in the private sector and federal, state, and local government employment from retaliation.

Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to provide experienced counsel and representation to persons subjected to workplace retaliation.

This practice represents clients asserting retaliation claims in federal and state court lawsuits, filing charges with federal, state, and local government agencies, and arbitration and mediation proceedings.

Steven Murray has successfully represented individuals asserting retaliation and discrimination claims in lawsuits before multiple United States District Courts, including representing prevailing clients in jury trials before the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and mediation proceedings.

Federal and Colorado Law

Numerous federal and state civil rights and employment discrimination laws prohibit retaliation in employment. Examples of statutes providing retaliation protection include but are not limited to:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended.
  • Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended.
  • The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, as amended.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended.

Persons Covered by Retaliation Law

The law protects employees, former employees, and applicants from retaliation.

The law prohibits employers from retaliating against a person within the “zone of interest” of the person engaging in the protected activity.

For example, an employer cannot retaliate against the employee who engaged in protected activity, i.e., filed a charge of discrimination, by discharging the person’s fiancé who works for the same employer.

Elements of Retaliation Claim

There are three recognized elements for a viable retaliation claim.

First, the individual asserting the retaliation claim must participate in protected activity.

Protected activity includes actions opposing discrimination, such as filing an internal charge of discrimination with the employer, or participating in a legal process concerning equal employment opportunity, such as serving as a witness in a government agency investigation about a discrimination charge.

Second, the employer must take a materially adverse employment action.

A materially adverse action is an employer’s action that might well have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.

Third, the party asserting a retaliation claim must establish a causal connection between the employee’s protected activity and the employer’s materially adverse action.

Administrative Proceedings

A person seeking relief for retaliation under many but not all federal and state employment laws, i.e., Title VII, must file an administrative charge before filing a civil action in court.

A charge of retaliation must be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] within 300 days of the retaliation.

The aggrieved individual may also file a charge with the Colorado Civil Rights Division within 180 days of the last retaliatory action.

Filing a charge with either agency is deemed jointly filed with both agencies.


Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to advise, counsel, and represent any individual deprived of the right to be free from unlawful retaliation in employment. Please contact Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.

Client Reviews

I found Steven at a very stressful time. He has been compassionate, timely, honest & an all around pleasure to work with. His knowledge of employment law is deep and effortless. I am so pleased he is in my corner advocating for me! Thank you, Steven!


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