Workplace retaliation is when an employer takes negative action toward an employee in response to some type of formal complaint. For example, maybe the employee alleges that they are being sexually harassed by the CEO of the company. The CEO then fires that employee. This is a clear example of retaliation to the complaint.
However, some employees make the mistake of assuming that they have to be terminated for an action to be a wrongful retaliation. This is not always true. What are some other examples of workplace retaliation?
First and foremost, the employer may try to reduce the employee’s pay rate or limit the hours of work that they get every week. In some cases, the employer may be attempting to get the employee to quit without firing them.
Changing work assignments
It can also be retaliation if the employee’s work roles are significantly altered. Maybe they get transferred to a different location that is further from their home or to a different department that they never wanted to work in. Maybe they are suddenly signed up to work all the shifts that other employees don’t want when they never did so before.
Marginalizing the employee
Finally, the employee may just feel that they’re being marginalized in a way that they weren’t previously. Perhaps they’re told not to come to meetings, or maybe they’re barred from employee gatherings and business events. Perhaps they always got positive performance reviews before, but those suddenly start to become negative – even though their performance hasn’t changed.
Workplace retaliation can take many forms. It’s quite important for those who feel their rights have been violated to understand what legal steps they can take.