If you have recently reported your Texas employer’s activities because they were discriminatory or otherwise illegal, you may now be worried about retaliation.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have the right to be treated fairly at work, without discrimination, and asserting that right is a protected activity.

What is a protected activity?

There are a number of specific things that the EEOC lists as protected in addition to reporting discrimination. For example, your employer cannot act against you if you participate in an EEOC investigation, speak to your manager about discrimination or refuse to follow a directive from your supervisor that results in discrimination. You also have the right to stand up for your co-workers if they are being sexually harassed or discriminated against.

What is retaliation?

It is very likely that your employer understands EEOC’s protected activities, and your supervisor may have instructions not to take any actions against you that could be immediately recognized as retaliation. However, the EEOC also provides a list of a number of other employer actions besides discipline or termination that could be retaliation:

  • Giving you a low performance evaluation
  • Subjecting you to increased scrutiny
  • Transferring you to an undesirable position or giving you an undesirable schedule
  • Verbally abusing you
  • Spreading rumors about you

While these are not the only actions that constitute retaliation, they may give you an idea of the types of behaviors that could indicate your employer is punishing you for engaging in a protected activity. This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.