By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Can you sue your current employer while you’re still employed?

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After a woman who went to an emergency room complaining of abdominal pain died while waiting for treatment, her husband sued the hospital for malpractice. Whatís unusual is that he is currently an anesthesiologist at that hospital and he is suing his current colleagues. Awkward!

Most people who sue their employers wait until they’ve left, but others choose to file the claim while still working at the offending company. What is the right of an employee to remain employed while in the process of suing the employer?

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Laws protect employees against conduct by employers like discrimination and other bad practices. But those laws would be completely evicerated if employers could fire or otherwise retaliate against employees for asserting their rights.

What that means to employees is that their employers may not fire them for filing a claim against the employer, even if the employee loses the claim.

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Having to face the person filing a lawsuit against you in the company lunchroom may be uncomfortable, but facing that person in court and having to answer for an additional claim of retaliation, even more so.