Employees should be free to file complaints about issues such as harassment and discrimination in the workplace. They should know that they can file reports about violations of any employment laws with fear of retaliation.
Firing or demoting an employee for speaking up about employment law violations is illegal.
What’s considered retaliation?
Retaliation is any negative employment action that’s taken by an employer as a response to the employee taking part in a protected activity. Retaliation goes far beyond job termination.
Many actions classify as workplace retaliation such as:
- Giving the employee the “cold shoulder” at work
- Cutting back their hours
- Reducing their pay
- Creating a hostile work environment
- Spreading rumors or false information about the employee
- Moving them to a less desirable shift, location or job
- Blocking a promotion or raise
- Preventing the employee from going to company events or meetings
- Nitpicking the employee’s performance without doing the same for others
Employees who believe they’re being retaliated against by their employer, or the employer’s representatives, should know they have rights.