Retaliation by employers can take many forms and can be difficult to identify. It can occur after an employee reports illegal or unethical behavior, files a complaint, or takes action to protect their rights. Here are some ways to identify employer retaliation:
Changes in job responsibilities
Changes in job responsibilities can sometimes be an indication of retaliation. An employer may reassign an employee to less desirable tasks, reduce their hours or demote them to a lower position. This is particularly a red flag if it happens soon after an employee reports a concern or files a complaint.
Negative performance reviews
As explained in Chron, employers may use performance reviews as a tool to retaliate against an employee. Negative performance reviews that don’t accurately depict an employee’s behavior or are out of character can be a sign of retaliation. An employer may also unfairly scrutinize an employee’s work, making it difficult for them to meet expectations.
Isolation and exclusion
Isolation and exclusion can also be forms of retaliation. An employer may exclude an employee from meetings, decision-making processes or other important events. This can make an employee feel undervalued and can be a sign of retaliation.
Verbal abuse or threats
Retaliation can also manifest through verbal abuse or threats. An employer may use derogatory language or make threats to intimidate an employee who has reported illegal or unethical behavior.
Retaliation by employers is illegal and can have serious consequences for employees, that is why it is important to always be aware of the signs of retaliation. If an employee believes they are being retaliated against, they should report it to their supervisor or HR department. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and fair workplace for their employees, and retaliation undermines that responsibility. By identifying and addressing retaliation, employers can create a more positive work environment for everyone.