Too often, employees choose to remain silent regarding poor treatment in the workplace because they fear the punishment or repercussions they might face from supervisors. However, workers who experience discrimination or harassment should speak up immediately not only to end the mistreatment, but to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Fortunately, numerous legal protections exist that shield workers from any type of retaliation in the workplace.
Examples of workplace retaliation can include:
- Reprimands including performance improvement plans or write-ups in a personnel file
- Performance evaluations that are lower than the employee’s true performance indicates
- Transfer to a less desirable shift or department
- Reduction in hours
- Being overlooked for a promotion, desired shift or desired department
- Engaging in verbal or physical abuse, including public reprimands, jokes or the spread of false rumors
- Threatening to contact law enforcement regarding immigration status or other factors
- Increased scrutiny or “micromanagement” when none exists for other employees
- Treating friends or family members negatively including canceling a contract or not honoring an agreement
It is important to note that legal protection against retaliation does not equal the complete lack of worker discipline. An employer can still levy disciplinary action including demotion, negative performance reviews or termination as long as they are based solely on employment metrics rather than other, more personal, factors.
With these complex employment law matters, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. A legal professional can answer your questions and provide valuable insight regarding your workplace mistreatment and the best course of action to follow.