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Ways Retaliation Occurs in the Workplace

Posted by B&F Contributor | Mar 15, 2023

Many people would like to think that if they witnessed illegal actions and behaviors in the workplace, they would swiftly report them. However, reporting wrongdoing can be much harder when it actually does happen, especially when you're worried that doing so can impact your future employment. Unfortunately, many employees who report illegal activity, such as discrimination, are punished for it. In fact, retaliation claims make up over half of all charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

What exactly is retaliation, and how does it occur in the workplace? The retaliation attorneys of Barrett & Farahany can help you learn more. 

What is Retaliation?

Retaliation is when an employee faces an adverse employment action for engaging in protected activity. Various actions are considered protected activity in the workplace under federal, state, and local laws, including the following:

  • Reporting discrimination or harassment
  • Refusing to participate in discrimination or harassment
  • Participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing regarding discrimination or harassment
  • Requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability
  • Requesting time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

You have the right to participate in protected activity without facing an adverse employment action for it. Of course, this is not always the case, and many face retaliation for exercising their employee rights. This can also dissuade other employees from exercising their rights if they have a reason to fear being retaliated against. 

Examples of Retaliation in the Workplace

Retaliation can occur in various ways, so not every employee will have the same experience. However, some forms of retaliation can be much more subtle and could cause the employee to wonder if they're facing an adverse employment action for exercising their rights. Retaliation isn't always obvious, which is why it's critical to have an employment lawyer review your situation to determine if you have legal options available. 

Some of the different ways retaliation can occur in the workplace include:

  • Terminating an employee
  • Demoting an employee
  • Reducing an employee's hours or salary
  • Excluding an employee
  • Transferring an employee to a less desirable shift, department, or location
  • Reassigning an employee's tasks
  • Denying opportunities for advancement
  • Harassing an employee
  • Giving an employee an unwarranted negative performance review

Even if the retaliation you experienced may not seem as serious as being fired, it is still illegal and never should have occurred. At Barrett & Farahany, we can help you stand up to unlawful acts of retaliation.

Barrett & Farahany: Retaliation Attorneys Who Can Help

No one should have to fear that exercising the rights entitled to them by federal, state, or local laws will put their employment at risk. The retaliation attorneys of Barrett & Farahany have a reputation for defending the rights of employees and protecting them from discrimination and harassment. If you've recently engaged in protected activity and have subsequently faced an adverse employment action, you may be the victim of workplace retaliation. When you believe your employee is violating your employee rights, we can be there for you.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you believe you recently experienced retaliation at work. Contact our retaliation attorneys today.

About the Author


When you reach out to us, you will receive a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Atlanta employment attorneys. During our initial consultation with you, we can help you to better understand your rights and will work with you to determine what course of action is in your best interest. We take great pride in providing assistance based on years of experience negotiating and litigating employment matters to protect employee interests. If you find yourself in need of dedicated legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf – our goal is always to protect employee victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.