Retaliation in the workplace can take on many forms. Simply put, retaliation in the workplace is any unfavorable employment decision made by an employer because an employee exercised their rights. It could also be when an employer allows other employees to target said employee with adverse behavior because of the situation.
Many people are afraid to stand up for their rights due to fear of being fired, but there are other more subtle ways of retaliation that can make coming to work even more unbearable. Unlawful workplace retaliation is any form of punishment targeted towards employees or job applicants for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination, including harassment.
The Silent Treatment
After you’ve filed a complaint, your boss or coworkers might suddenly start to ignore you. This is a form of subtle retaliation. Perhaps they leave you out of meetings you’ve always been a part of in the past, or you’re no longer invited to lunch or networking events. Being disregarded and ignored is a form of isolation and is a very common retaliation tactic in the workplace.
A Decrease in Work Hours
One of the most common forms of workplace retaliation is to reduce a worker’s hours. Imagine working in a restaurant and having to file a sexual harassment lawsuit with an employment lawyer San Francisco. Soon after, your normal work hours are taken away and you can no longer pay your bills on a reduced income.
Now you’re in the position of having to find another job or working a second job to make up the difference. If no one else’s hours have been affected and there’s no good explanation for your hours being taken away after you’ve filed your claim, you might be the victim of workplace retaliation in the form of reduced working hours and less pay.
Unusual Shift Changes
It’s not unusual for shifts to change now and then but if you suddenly get stuck with all the worst possible shifts after you file a worker’s compensation claim, this could be a matter of subtle workplace retaliation. Any sudden employment decision that puts you in a situation where you’re feeling as if you’re being punished, may in fact be a retaliation tactic.
Excessive Negative Reviews or Feedback
If you’ve always received excellent performance reviews and after you filed a complaint against your employer start to get excessively negative feedback, it could be a case of workplace retaliation.
Consider if you’ve changed anything about your work ethic. If you’re still doing your job with the same excellence as always, and you’ve started to get terrible feedback or reviews, you may want to contact a lawyer to review your circumstances and evaluate your claims.
Potential for career advancement should be made available equally to all employees. Ongoing education, opportunities for licensing and certification, as well as promotions are all part of career-improvement opportunities that employers offer.
If your performance hasn’t changed and your boss used to offer these things to you but no longer does, especially if the opportunities are still offered to everyone else, then withholding opportunities could be a way your employer is retaliating against you.
These are just some of the ways you could be punished in the workplace after filing a discrimination, harassment, or worker’s compensation claim. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of workplace retaliation, contact a lawyer that specializes in worker’s rights to find out if you have a case.
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