3 signs of retaliation in the workplace

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Employee Rights

Maybe you complained about subpar and unsafe working conditions and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) got involved – or maybe you simply rejected your supervisor’s unwanted advances.

Whatever happened, you were well within your rights – but the attitude toward you in the workplace has definitely shifted. How do you tell if you’re now the victim of workplace retaliation? Here are some signs:

1. Sudden negative performance reviews

One of the most telling signs of workplace retaliation is an abrupt shift in your performance reviews without any change in your work performance. If you’ve always been a stellar employee and received praise for your work, it’s highly suspect if you suddenly get written up for minor issues or told that your work is “lacking.”

2. Unjustified demotions or reassignments

Demotions and changes in position can happen for a lot of reasons – but not all of them are legitimate. If you’ve suddenly been moved to a back office, given menial tasks that aren’t part of your job description or had important work stripped away right after you made a complaint or engaged in another protected activity, that’s a major red flag

3. Increased scrutiny and monitoring

Is your work suddenly being scrutinized very heavily? Excessive monitoring and micromanagement of your work activity when it comes on suddenly and without justification, can be a big sign of retaliation. If you’re being singled out for chastisement over minor mistakes, that can create a stressful and intimidating workplace environment.

If you suspect that you are experiencing workplace retaliation, document everything. Keep a detailed journal and store emails, memos and any other evidence somewhere you can access them away from the worksite. Continue to perform your job duties to the best of your ability and remain professional while you decide on your next move. Legal guidance can be essential in these situations.

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