Employer retaliation against workers is a real issue that plagues many industries to this day. This often occurs in cases where an employee is a whistleblower, bringing attention to inappropriate conduct on the part of the employer.
Fortunately for you, it is possible to take protective action if you find yourself on the vengeful end of a spiteful boss.
MarketWatch discusses the retaliation charges filed by workers in 2019 alone, which numbers up to 39,000. This shows an ongoing and very real problem in which employers will retaliate against workers for various reasons by making their life unreasonably hard at work, or even unlawfully terminating their employment.
In order to pursue recourse, you must first establish retaliation. An employer must have taken an action that manifests in a materially adverse way. Simply feeling mismanaged or bullied is not going to be enough.
You also need to have engaged in an activity protected under equal employment opportunity laws. These laws protect you from workplace discrimination, as well as providing protection when you report evidence of inappropriate conduct such as partaking in fraud.
Collecting evidence and creating a timeline
Additionally, you need to show a timeline that directly connects this protected activity to the consequences you suffered at work, showing that one caused the other.
Some examples of retaliatory tactics include pay reduction, employment termination, demotion, the reassignment of your responsibilities, removal from decision-making processes, removal from special access groups, and giving you poor job reviews despite unchanged performance.
Help build your case with good records. If you experience any of these things, take notes, keep copies of filed complaints and collect as much evidence as possible. This will help you build your case later.