You know that employer retaliation is illegal, but what can you do if you are a victim? Experiencing punishment for doing the right thing or exercising your rights is frustrating and intimidating, but you do not have to face it alone. One of the first steps to resolving this issue is to seek legal assistance from an experienced Rhode Island employment law attorney.
How to know if you have experienced retaliation
Retaliation comes in many different forms, and employees may experience this after reporting the employer for various types of illegal or discriminatory activities. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits retaliation in any form and reports that employees often experience this after they are involved in one of the following:
- Serving as a witness against an employer in an employment law case
- Reporting harassment or discrimination to upper management and authorities
- Refusing to follow illegal or discriminatory orders
- Protecting themselves or others from sexual advances in the workplace
- Seeking accommodations for religious practices or disability
Employees have the right to a workplace that is free from discrimination, inappropriate activities and harassment. When employers take action to rebuke an employee for exercising his or her rights, it is not only unfair, it can take a serious toll on a person's quality of life, both at work and away from the job. Some of the most common forms of employer retaliation include the following:
- Reprimanding the employee
- Giving an unfair evaluation
- Verbally abusing the employee
- Demoting the employee to a lower or lesser-paying position
- Threatening to alert authorities of immigration status
- Spreading false or personal information about the employee
- Increasing scrutiny of the employee at work
- Making efforts to increase the difficulty of the job
If you experienced any of these after reporting your employer or filing a complaint, you may be the victim of employer retaliation. This is illegal, but you have the right to fight back.
Is there anything you can do?
Many employees who experience retaliation refuse to speak out or stand up for their rights because they believe they may lose their jobs or make the situation worse. These are legitimate fears, but there are ways to fight back and hold your employer accountable while still keeping your job.
Retaliation is serious, but with help, you can take a stand and fight for a fair outcome to your situation. If you believe you are a victim or have concerns about your rights in the workplace, it is best to seek a complete case evaluation with an attorney in order to understand the legal options available to you.