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What Are the Signs of Workplace Complaint Retaliation?

Published on Sep 9, 2021 at 2:44 pm in Employment Law.

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In your workplace, you should feel safe and respected at all times. When that doesn’t happen and you’re discriminated against or face harassment in your workplace, you file a complaint with your Human Resources department. Even though they’re supposed to be there to help you, and complaints are intended for you to see change and justice, the opposite might happen.

When you’ve filed a complaint in the workplace, you might face retaliation from your employer, which is illegal. You should know the signs that you’re facing retaliation after filing a complaint so that you can get justice for what happened to you and what is continuing to happen to you.

Signs of Retaliation in the Workplace

It’s your right to file a complaint after you experience discrimination or harassment at your job. Sometimes, instead of your complaint being heard and fixed, your employer might choose to retaliate against you, even though it’s illegal. It’s important to know the signs of retaliation so that you can identify it and protect your rights.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has laws that forbid workplace harassment and discrimination for applicants and employees, which includes retaliation. According to the EEOC, here are some of the signs that your employer might be retaliating against you:

  • You receive a performance evaluation that is lower than it should be.
  • You get transferred to a worse position than you had before.
  • You get transferred to a less desirable location.
  • You get physically or verbally abused by your employer or coworkers.
  • They threaten to contact the police to intimidate and manipulate you.
  • They threaten deportation.
  • They watch over you and your work much more closely than before, and more closely than other workers.
  • They spread rumors through the office to harm your reputation.
  • They spread false reports to the news and media.
  • They change your work schedule so that you miss outside plans.
  • They make work harder for you.

It’s important to note, however, that if an employer is allowed to discipline or fire workers if their reasoning is not rooted in retaliation or discrimination. The only time it is illegal to discipline or terminate a worker is if there isn’t a real reason other than just to retaliate against them or as a means of harassment or discrimination.

What to Do If You Face Retaliation

If you’ve been seeing signs of retaliation after a complaint at your job, you’ll need to know what to do next. The first thing you’ll want to do is collect evidence that proves you were retaliated against. If you experienced any of the above actions, you’ll want to keep documentation, notes, and any communication you receive that shows you’ve been experiencing mistreatment.

Then you’ll want to file a retaliation complaint through the EEOC. They’ll work on a retaliation charge that stops this treatment before it can continue, and you might be able to recover relief for what you’ve been through. You might be able to get back pay, front pay, or job reinstatement depending on what happened.

There are other damages you can recover if you choose to file an employment claim with the help of a lawyer. They’ll be able to help you get compensation from economic and noneconomic damages from the illegal actions your employer took against you. If you don’t work for the government then you also have the potential to recover punitive damages to further punish your employer.

Our Attorneys Will Defend Your Rights

Everyone should be able to feel safe in their place of work. When you face discrimination or retaliation for reporting that mistreatment, you might feel vulnerable and unsure of who to turn to. That’s where a Charleston employment lawyer comes in to help you.

At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we’re here to support you through this hard time and hold your employer responsible for their wrongful actions. We’re here to answer all of your questions and ensure that you are guided through the legal process every step of the way. Contact our office today so that we can start discussing your legal options right away.