What is Silent Retaliation? - Barrett & Farahany

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What is Silent Retaliation?

What is Silent Retaliation?

silent retaliation

Quiet Retaliation Doesn’t Have a Quiet Effect on You

Workplace retaliation has been a consistent problem in workplaces across the country for a long time. Problematic co-workers, managers, and supervisors have been honing their skills in retaliating against employees who report toxic behavior. One such form is called silent retaliation, or quiet retaliation.

Workplace retaliation is a response from a toxic work environment meant to punish employees for speaking out about inappropriate behavior in the workplace. This includes more passive and underhanded methods that are easier to deny and harder for you to prove.

Remember, just because it may be harder to prove does not mean it is impossible. You should not suffer in silence if you are a victim of silent retaliation. The workplace retaliation attorneys at Barrett & Farahany can help. Schedule a consultation with our attorneys today to learn more.

What is Silent Retaliation?

When you think of retaliation, it’s important to consider how you feel. Overt retaliation may make you feel slighted, angered, or dejected. The goal of retaliation is to make you feel helpless and hopeless as a punishment. This way, you won’t ever report your employer for their behavior or participate in protected activities they don’t approve of again.

Silent retaliation doesn’t appear the same as typical retaliation, but it can feel the same. Think of when:

  • People in your workplace talk over you repeatedly during a meeting
  • Fail to include you in business memos and activities
  • Give you overly challenging assignments
  • Regularly withhold resources from you

This can happen in a non-toxic workplace, without any malicious purpose. The issue arises when this behavior is so pervasive that it feels impossible to be on accident. This is at least a toxic workplace culture, but what makes it retaliation is whether or not there is a reason to retaliate against you.

Causes of Silent Retaliation

Retaliation is never justified. While there are common actions that spring retaliation, such as protected activities, you should never feel responsible for it. You have the right as an American citizen to engage in protected activities. If you are retaliated against because of it, your workplace is liable for damages.

You cannot be legally punished for partaking in protected activities, as stated by federal law. Protected activities include:

  1. Filing a Complaint: You have the right to file complaints about discrimination, harassment, and unsafe working conditions with your employer, human resources, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  2. Participating in an Investigation: Working with authorities investigating your workplace is a protected activity and it is illegal to retaliate against you for it. This includes providing testimony and evidence to authorities in legal proceedings.
  3. Whistleblowing: Reporting your employer’s activities that you think are illegal is a protected activity, even if your report turns out to be false.
  4. Requesting Accommodations: If you have a disability, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation. You may also ask for religious accommodation, such as to observe religious holidays or practices.
  5. Taking Leave: If your employment contract gives you protected leave, such as maternity or parental, or you take family or medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you cannot legally be retaliated against. Other legally protected leave includes military leave or jury duty.
  6. Union Activities: Your right to organize and participate in efforts, strikes, and collective bargaining with your union cannot be retaliated against. Your employer also cannot retaliate or otherwise try to stop you from discussing your wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment with your co-workers.
  7. Engaging in Political Activities or Voting: You cannot be legally retaliated against for participating in any political activities, such as voting and serving as a poll worker.
  8. Requesting Information: You have the protected right to ask your employer about workplace policies regarding your safety, benefits, and safety.

The Effects of Silent Retaliation

As with overt workplace retaliation, examples of quiet retaliation can have profound effects on victims. It can be demoralizing and anxiety-inducing and can even make you feel unsafe. Even more so than overt retaliation, silent retaliation is similar to gaslighting. You can be convinced that something that is happening, isn’t, making it difficult to trust your own senses.

No one should have to go through such an experience, and for that reason, we recommend that you don’t suffer in silence. You can find help at Barrett & Farahany.

Contact the Workplace Retaliation Attorneys at Barrett & Farahany For Help

Our attorneys have vast experience with workplace retaliation of all kinds, overt and quiet. There is likely a trail of evidence to find if you look for it, and we can advise you how to collect to build a lawsuit. Together, we get you the justice and the damages you deserve.

You have the right to not be retaliated against by your employer, and you can utilize that right with the help of Barrett & Farahany. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Barrett & Farahany

Georgia Office

3344 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326

Alabama Office

2 20th St N, Suite 900,
Birmingham, AL 35203

Illinois Office

77 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 4500
Chicago, IL 60601


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