In exchange for your putting in a hard day’s work, your employer should treat you fairly. Unfortunately, though, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment remain alarmingly common in the U.S. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that roughly six out of every 10 workers have had to deal with illegal misconduct during their careers.
Your employer should take your complaints seriously and work to address them promptly. If your manager retaliates against you for complaining, though, you may have an additional cause of action. Regrettably, retaliation is not always so easy to spot.
Retaliation can be subtle
Obviously, the clearest-cut sign of illegal retaliation is the termination of employment. Most employers know this, so they do not fire workers who complain. Instead, unscrupulous employers typically undertake subtler forms of retaliation. Subtle retaliation is still against the law, however.
If your employer does any of the following after you complain about discrimination or harassment, you may be a victim of illegal retaliation:
- Changes your job duties or work schedule
- Excludes you from necessary meetings or training opportunities
- Gives you additional work
- Moves you to a less appealing part of the office
- Denies your upcoming vacation time
You have rights
Just as you have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, you have a right not to become a victim of retaliation. Rather than letting your employer retaliate against you, it is advisable to explore all available recourse. Often, it is possible to stop retaliation without filing an official complaint.
Ultimately, because it can be dangerous to acquiesce to retaliatory behaviors, you should consider raising your objections as soon as you know about the retaliation.