Employees should not have to fear workplace retaliation. When employees report harassment or discrimination in the workplace, it is important that employers take those concerns seriously and do not retaliate against the employee in response to any complaint they have made.
What is considered retaliation?
Employers cannot retaliate against workers for reporting workplace discrimination, workplace harassment or illegal behavior that the employer is engaged in. Retaliation is considered adverse actions the employer takes against the employee. Examples of what may be considered retaliation include:
- Firing the employee;
- Giving the employee a negative evaluation;
- Disciplining the employee;
- Punishing the employee in some way;
- Demoting the employee;
- Reassigning the employee;
- Cutting the employee’s hours;
- Reducing the employee’s pay; and
- Refusing to promote the employee
The protections against retaliation not only apply to the employee being retaliated against but also apply to any coworkers who have participated in the investigation of the complaint or have been a part of the complaint process.
It is also important to note that whether or not the complaint made by the employee is valid is not relevant to the question of whether not the employer has retaliated against the employee if they employer has taken adverse action against the employee in response to a complaint. Employers should have a complaint process, should take any complaints seriously and keep them confidential and keep records of the complaint.
Seek help to protect yourself against retaliation
Workplace retaliation can be devastating to workers and their families. When a worker brings forward a complaint concerning harassment, discrimination or other categories of wrongdoing, it is important that they understand they are protected.