Matt Gomes Featured in Article "Employment Attorneys Talk Ethics Hotlines, Defining Retaliation"
In a Daily Report article published on May 18, Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial partner Matthew T. Gomes provides insight and expertise about recent discrimination suits involving ethics hotline use and retaliation.
Gomes says ethics hotlines specifically can be beneficial for companies if used correctly because they allow the company to find out about problems they may not discover through other channels. However, he goes on to say, “As one judge wrote in a legal decision dismissing a retaliation claim, ‘protection from retaliation for filing a complaint does not clothe the complainant with immunity for past and present inadequacies, unsatisfactory performance, and uncivil conduct in dealing with subordinates and with his peers. You still have to do your job. Unfortunately, some people who complain don’t, and some complaints are not legitimate.”
Gomes adds that workers often misunderstand the meaning and intent of workplace discrimination language, saying “I see a lot of people making accusations that misuse words like ‘harassment,’ ‘discrimination’ and ‘retaliation.’ If your supervisor corrects something that you’re doing wrong, that doesn’t mean it's harassment. If a co-worker has a prickly personality and is rude to everyone, that doesn’t mean it's discrimination. If I complain that my co-workers talk too loud in their cubicles and, after they are counseled to keep it down, they start ostracizing me, that doesn’t mean it's retaliation.”
For the full article, subscribers to the Daily Report may click here.