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What is retaliation in the workplace?

Memphis Retaliation Lawyer

Retaliation in the Workplace – Have you experienced it?

Most people know that there are laws to protect employees from discrimination and harassment. However, many do not know these laws also protect employees from retaliation. Workplace retaliation is when an employer punishes an employee for exercising his or her rights under federal law. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee for making a complaint about discrimination or harassment, or for participating in the investigation of a complaint matter. There are other federal laws that protect other types of activities, such as “whistleblowers” who complain of unsafe working conditions or those who take their leave entitlement under FMLA. Retaliation does not mean just being fired or demoted. It also includes pay reduction, negative performance evaluations, hostile attitudes from supervisors, and changes in job responsibilities.

Retaliatory actions by an employer can be subtle and go unnoticed. So how do you if your employer is retaliating against you? Well, if something negative happens to you after you make a complaint, that should a red flag for you. For example, if after filing a complaint you receive an unfair poor performance review, or your supervisor starts micromanaging everything you do, or maybe you have been excluded from staff meetings on a project you have been working on, you may have a claim of retaliation. However, there is always two sides to a story and your supervisor may have a legitimate reasonable explanation the actions you deem negative. You would want an HR professional in your organization to look into the matter and address it. If your claim of retaliation cannot be handled internally, you may have to take your concerns to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s EEO agency.

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