Workplace retaliation isn’t always obvious. Sometimes it’s small, subtle, and done in such a way that you don’t realize it is happening. Employers do this to make you suffer in the workplace and diminish your will to fight back and stick up for yourself. You don’t have to let this happen, however. You can combat workplace retaliation, but the first stop to fighting it is learning how to spot it.
The workplace retaliation attorneys at Barrett & Farahany can help you learn exactly how to recognize and combat workplace retaliation.
What Is Workplace Retaliation?
Workplace retaliation is a form of discrimination. It occurs when a person in power within an organization, such as a manager or supervisor, attempts to punish an employee for taking part in a legally protected activity. Examples of legally protected activities include:
- Filing complaints about discrimination or harassment
- Participating in an investigation related to workplace violations of law
- Requesting workplace accommodations
Punishments, though, can be hard to spot. As we said before, you should expect these to be subtle. Sometimes, the signs are not examples of workplace retaliation, but rather the workplace just not going your way. You need to look at the incident that you believe spurred your employer’s retaliation and the moment they retaliated. This will help you see the context surrounding them to be sure your situation is one of workplace retaliation.
How Can You Spot It?
First, before looking for the telltale signs, consider what happened beforehand. Has there been any reason to retaliate against you? Any recent events? Also, consider whether or not you are a member of a protected class that other people in your office are not a part of. Sometimes, these acts against you are examples of workplace discrimination rather than retaliation. Some examples of signs to look out for include:
- Termination: Being fired without clear or necessary reasons is a major sign of retaliation. They may wait some time so it doesn’t appear like retaliation, but if they give you no warning beforehand, that can be equally problematic.
- Passed Over for a Promotion/Raise: If you’re consistently overlooked for promotions or raises despite meeting or exceeding job expectations, it could be a form of retaliation. This is especially true if you’ve been considered multiple times for a raise or promotion.
- Isolation: This could take many forms. Such examples include the silent treatment from supervisors, purposely causing you to mess up, or even causing your co-workers to blame you for issues that aren’t your fault. They could also move or relocate you to a new position that separates you from other employees. This can also take the form of leaving you out of team meetings so you’re not informed of anything going on with the business.
- Negative Performance Reviews: If you have a history of positive performance reviews, negative performance reviews that don’t align with your work quality might be a sign of retaliation.
- Demotion: An unexplained demotion is a common sign of retaliation in the workplace.
Keep in mind that these signs may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the workplace environment. If you believe you’re experiencing workplace retaliation, it’s crucial to document incidents and consult with a legal professional.
How Can You Combat It?
If you believe that you are experiencing workplace retaliation, you need to document every suspicious incident, speak to an attorney, and contact your company’s human resources department. When it comes to human resources, they may help you address the situation, but understand that they are there to do what is best for the company. They’ll only do what’s best for you if that aligns with the company, so make sure you have an attorney to back you up beforehand or as soon as possible afterward.
Additionally, it is important to stay focused on your job responsibilities and ensure that you are meeting all of the expectations set out for you. You do not want to give your employer ammunition to accuse you of deserving the ill-treatment you have received.
Contact the Attorneys at Barrett & Farahany for Help
By knowing what workplace retaliation is, understanding how to recognize it, and taking appropriate steps to protect yourself, you can successfully combat retaliation in your workplace. Workplace retaliation can hurt all employees, so you need to be aware of your rights to protect yourself and potentially help other co-workers.
For more information on workplace retaliation or employment law issues, contact the attorneys at Barrett & Farahany for assistance. Our experienced team will be able to provide you with the support and guidance needed to ensure your rights are protected.