Employees at all levels can suffer from retaliation in the workplace, and this retaliation can be administered for many different reasons. Retaliation is never acceptable, and legal action can be taken if the behavior can be recognized as a legitimate form of retaliation.
While some forms of retaliation are obvious, many employers can be strategic in the way that they retaliate against an employee. This is because it can be easy to take action against an employer who fires a whistleblower or a woman who has just announced her pregnancy, for example.
Therefore, many employers choose to use subtle tactics that make an employee feel uncomfortable, thereby persuading the employee to leave the company “voluntarily.” The following are some of the most common retaliation tactics that you should be aware of.
Social and professional exclusion
If you find that you have quite suddenly been excluded from certain meetings, social activities or informal conversations, you may be experiencing a form of retaliation. It is likely that you will feel distressed by this type of behavior. It is important to take a note of the situations in which you have felt excluded in the workplace. You may also be able to gain statements from other coworkers who have noticed you being excluded in this way.
Verbal abuse from management
Your manager may not take a formal action against you, such as demotion or termination of employment, but they may still have engaged in retaliation. For example, if your manager has become inappropriately angry or used abusive language, this can count as retaliation.
Denied opportunities in the workplace
If you were obviously the most promising candidate for an upcoming promotion, you were probably quite confident that you would be successful. However, if you were denied the promotion and given an illegitimate excuse for why you were not successful, the answer may be that you were retaliated against.
If you acted as a whistleblower, have recently taken family leave or announced your pregnancy, you may be particularly at risk of workplace retaliation. It is vital that you never tolerate any type of workplace retaliation in Colorado, and that you consider your legal options when you have such an experience.