Sometimes, an employer illegally retaliates against an employee for exerting their legal rights or coming to the defense of another person’s legal rights. This is what the judicial system in Delaware refers to as workplace retaliation.
Signs of workplace retaliation
Pay close attention to what happens to you in the following days and weeks after you speak up for yourself or another person. Journal any of the signs of workplace retaliation, and save any evidence that you may have, such as text messages, emails, or notes. If a colleague overheard the mistreatment, then you should mention that he or she was present when you record the incident in your journal. This individual could be a witness if you take your employer to court.
Red flags that your employer is retaliating against you include:
- Constructive discharge
- Failure to give a deserved promotion
- Harmful changes in your workload
- Verbal abuse
- Rude remarks about your age, gender, religion, disability, or race
- Unusually poor performance reviews
Constructive discharge is when your employer makes the work environment so uncomfortable for you that you quit. If your employer says negative things about your age, gender, religion, disability, or race, then this is a hostile work environment. These are protected classes, so you could file a lawsuit for a hostile work environment as well as for workplace retaliation.
Possible results of a lawsuit
If a court finds your employer liable for workplace retaliation, then your employer may have to compensate you for lost benefits, unpaid wages, and emotional distress. Employers may also have to pay punitive damages or penalties. The court might order the employer to reinstate you or to provide training and other opportunities that were wrongfully withheld from you.
Delaware law takes workplace retaliation seriously. Consequences for this issue are severe with the employer possibly having to compensate not only lost benefits but also emotional distress. Protect yourself from workplace retaliation by knowing how to recognize it and how to collect evidence to prove to a court that you are a victim.