If you are willing to get up every day and go to work, you should not have to deal with the hassle of discrimination or harassment. Still, both of these remain pervasive in workplaces across the country. In fact, according to reporting from NPR, more than 80% of women say they have experienced inappropriate behaviors at work.
You can take steps to stop discrimination and harassment at work. If you complain, your employer should investigate and intervene. Unfortunately, though, many employers choose to punish those who stand up for themselves.
Termination of employment
It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against workers who complain about discrimination or harassment. Obviously, termination of employment is the clearest sign of retaliation. Nevertheless, because most employers realize retaliatory termination is problematic, they often engage in subtler forms of retaliation.
Adverse employment action
Any type of adverse employment action in response to your complaint has the potential to qualify as retaliation. Therefore, you may have grounds to take legal action if you experience one or more of the following:
- A reduction or increase in your work hours
- A denial of a pay raise or promotion
- Exclusion from work-related events
- A change in your work schedule
To protect yourself, it is advisable to document suspected retaliation. In addition to keeping records about your initial complaint, you should maintain evidence of retaliatory behaviors. E-mails, text messages, voicemails and other correspondence can be useful.
Remember, whether you are the victim of clear-cut or subtle retaliation for your harassment or discrimination complaint, you do not have to stand idly by while your employer treats you unfairly.