Types of retaliation in the workplace

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Employment Law |

Retaliation at work is an unfortunate reality that some people face. It happens when an employer negatively responds to an employee who files a complaint about discrimination or harassment. It can also occur when employees participate in a workplace investigation or whistleblowing.

A wrongful termination is a form of retaliation.

Retaliation is illegal and can impact both parties involved. Understanding retaliation and how it manifests in a work environment can help employees make informed decisions.

  • Demotion: An employer may demote an employee to a lower position with less pay and responsibilities as retaliation.
  • Termination: An employer firing an employee for filing a complaint can also be retaliation.
  • Harassment: An employer may retaliate through intimidation, threats and harassment.
  • Exclusion: An employer may exclude employees from meetings, projects or other work-related activities.
  • A negative performance evaluation: An employer may give an employee unfairly negative performance evaluations or deny them promotions.

An employer may spread false information about an employee to prevent them from finding new employment, which can also be a form of retaliation.

Acting against retaliation

Victims of retaliation can protect themselves and their legal rights. After collecting proof of retaliation, they can file a complaint to the company’s HR or supervisor. Victims can file a complaint to external agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It also helps if victims reach out to a support network that can provide emotional comfort. This can include family members, friends or a trusted colleague. Victims may also seek legal professionals to help them understand their rights and explore other legal options to protect themselves.