What is Workplace Retaliation? The answer may surprise you

We are all fairly familiar with labor laws regarding discrimination at the workplace. Be it sexual harassment or racial discrimination, we know to document the incident, report it to your supervisor or Human Resources department, and if they take no action, contact an employment attorney, like the ones here at the Gallardo Law Firm.

But what if you followed protocol and you find yourself in a situation where your employer is deliberately making your life miserable? Changing your schedule suddenly to conflict with family responsibilities, arbitrarily giving you a negative performance evaluation, or, in some extreme cases, verbally or physically abusing you, are only some examples of Workplace Retaliation.

While other petty workplace altercations can get out of hand, like sending a glitter bomb to that annoying coworker who eats your lunch out of the office fridge (which we DO NOT recommend, BTW), can definitely be classified as a hostile action, but does not legally constitute Workplace Retaliation.

Legally, Workplace Retaliation has occurred if your employer takes any action against you when:

  • filing or being a witness in an EEO charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
  • resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others
  • requesting accommodation of a disability or for a religious practice
  • refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination

Contingent on the specifics of the situation, it could be considered retaliation if following your filing of the complaint, your employer takes one of the following actions:

  • reprimand you for the complaint
  • give an unfairly negative performance review
  • demote you
  • verbally or physically abuse you
  • threaten call the cops
  • spread lies about you
  • become overly critical of you
  • or deliberately make your work more difficult like changing your schedule or location to purposely conflict with your home life

Harassment and Discrimination are not Workplace Retaliation-Know the Difference

Getting singled out because of your gender, race or religion is discrimination.

Harassment, usually stemming from discrimination, is offensive behavior that creates hostile or intimidating work conditions such as: racial slurs, jokes, put downs, ridicule, and humiliation, among others.

Don’t be a victim or Workplace Retaliation. If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, contact the team of employment attorneys at the Gallardo Law Firm immediately.