We Fight For Employee Rights

Do employers even know what retaliation is?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2021 | Employment Law

Retaliatory actions are one of the most common types of workplace discrimination, and yet many employers in Rhode Island do not realize quite how big the problem is. This is because employers sometimes struggle to identify what retaliation actually looks like. Retaliation does not always take the form of termination or demotion, but can be much more subtle.

Identifying retaliation

When a survey asked employers to identify retaliation, 80% of participants agreed that firing an employee for reporting discrimination was retaliation. However, only 57% agreed that changing a worker’s benefits for reporting discrimination was also retaliation. To make matters worse, fewer than half of all workplaces that have anti-retaliation policies even bother to train their employees on it.

Some workers face a higher risk for workplace retaliation than others, too. For example, high-performing workers who report discrimination are less likely to experience backlash when compared to their lower-performing peers who report the same. Women are also more likely to experience retaliation than men. Common feelings associated with retaliation include:

  • Anger
  • Embarrassment
  • Hurt
  • Betrayal

Retaliation can and often does take the form of job loss, but that is not the only outcome. Victims often report hostile treatment, demotion, discipline and other actions in response to reporting discrimination. These all come with a range of emotional and financial damages, which some victims in Rhode Island choose to address with a legal claim. Successfully navigating such a claim can help victims secure the necessary compensation they need to address their damages.