Burden of proof. If the employer is charged with retaliatory discharge, the employer is innocent until proven guilty. While this rule affords some protection to the employer, circumstantial evidence, such as a string of good evaluations followed by a sudden turnaround, can be devastating. As a result, if you terminate an employee who has filed a wage/hour claim, a discrimination claim, etc., it is essential to be able to show conclusively, with both testimony and documentation, that the separation had no relation to any legally protected conduct by the employee.
Discrimination. Employers may not discharge employees because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, or country of ancestral origin. Also, it is illegal to discharge or discipline an employee for filing a discrimination complaint or testifying in a discrimination proceeding (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-5-7).
Family military leave. Employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise discriminating against employees who exercise their rights under theRhode Island Military Family Relief Act (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 30-33-5).
Jury duty. Employers may not retaliate against employees for serving on a jury (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 9-9-28).
Military service. Employers are prohibited from discharging or discriminating against employees because they are ...