When an employer decides to seek revenge against an employee who has exercised their legal rights, it becomes workplace retaliation – and it is illegal.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), workplace retaliation accounts for approximately 55.8 %of all cases filed with the agency. But why is retaliation in the workplace so rampant?
Here are common reasons why an employer may retaliate against you in the workplace.
You stood up for your rights
If you are a victim of sexual harassment or any form of discrimination at work, the law empowers you to raise the issue with your employer and even take legal action. If the employer counters your action with an unjustified punishment, you may be a victim of workplace retaliation.
You blew the whistle
Whistleblowing in the workplace happens when an employee reports wrongdoing such as corruption, bad business practice or financial misconduct. This can be internal or external. Internal whistleblowing happens when an employee files a complaint within the company. For instance, you report a supervisor making sexual advances against your wishes to their manager. If one of them reacts by sidelining you during important meetings, then you may file a retaliation complaint against them.
External retaliation happens when you report the employer to higher authorities like EEOC following an unlawful act. If the employer is not pleased by your action, they may retaliate against you by dismissing or demoting you. In this case, you need to take appropriate steps to protect your rights.
No one deserves to be retaliated against for standing up for their rights or speaking out against wrongdoing. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests if you are a victim of retaliation at your place of work.