When you see something wrong in the workplace, you should not face punishment if you step up to talk about it. This is what anti-retaliatory protections are here to do. As an employee, it is important to understand what your rights and protections are.
It is also important to understand what retaliation is, so you can take appropriate actions if this is what you currently face.
What is workplace retaliation?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission examines workplace retaliation. These are any negative actions taken against an employee after they have asserted their right to freedom from discrimination and harassment. In other words, retaliation is an employer’s way of punishing someone for bringing attention to discriminatory or harassing behaviors at their workplace.
Retaliation can come in many forms, which you have protection from. This can include:
- An increase in scrutiny at work
- Reprimanding you or giving you a lower performance evaluation
- Using physical or verbal abuse against you
- Demoting you to a less desirable position
- Threatening or making reports to authorities
- Making your work life more difficult on purpose
- Spreading false rumors or treating your family in a negative way
Your employers rights
Employers have the ability to discharge an employee for any reason. However, the EEO applies when the reasons for this discipline or discharge stems from discriminatory or retaliatory origins. Employers also cannot act in response to EEO activity that discourages complaints or resistance toward harassment in the future.
It is somewhat tricky to navigate these situations. Thus, if you want to learn more, you could contact legal help to guide you through.