Employees have specific rights at work. These include being able to speak up if their employer is taking part in illegal actions or allowing those to occur at work. Employees who file complaints or cooperate with investigations into things like harassment or discrimination shouldn’t have to worry about losing their job.
Laws are in place to protect employees from retaliation for participating in a protected action. Employers should make it clear that retaliation isn’t ever acceptable.
What types of actions are considered retaliation?
In the most general sense, retaliation means that the employer or its representative takes a negative employment action against the employee. This can be done by an administrator, manager or supervisor. Some examples of retaliation include:
- Termination of employment
- Reduction in hours
- Cut in pay
- Moving to a less desirable shift
- Transfer to a less desirable location
- Creating a hostile workplace for the employee
- Writing negative employment reviews
Employees who have participated in a protected activity don’t have free run in the workplace. They can still face negative employment actions for things prohibited by company policy. For example, a person who files a sexual harassment complaint can’t continually come into work late. They could still face the same consequences for being tardy as any other employee who’s consistently late.
Any employee who believes they’re the victim of retaliation in the workplace should learn about their options to address this. Presenting your case to someone who can help you to determine your next course of action is often helpful. There are laws that limit how much time you have to do this, so be sure to act quickly so that the time limit doesn’t pass before you set your plan into place.