Employer preemption of protected activities

Employees have a right to oppose discrimination and unlawful wage practices in the workplace, to assist others in enforcing their rights to overtime pay, to the minimum wage and to freedom from discrimination, and to participate in any manner proceedings, hearings or investigations under the federal wage and hour and anti-discrimination laws.These laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who have engaged in a protected acts of opposition, assistance or participation.  But what happens when an employer threatens to take adverse action if the employee exercises a protected right? "If you cooperate with the Agency's investigation, you're fired." "If you support Jane's pregnancy discrimination case, you're fired."  Threats of retaliation such as these can deter protected activities as effectively as retaliation after-the-fact. If frightened workers stop coming forward with their grievances and their testimony, the statutes protecting workers and their rights to overtime pay, the minimum wage and to equal treatment at work cannot be enforced. That's why employers who make such threats can expect the Department of Labor, the EEOC or a private party to seek an injunction prohibiting the threats, any retaliation against workers, and ordering the employer to reassure those it previously threatened that it will not act against them.Take a look...