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What should an employee do when their manager retaliates?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | Employment Law

Employees in Rhode Island might not know what to do when a manager retaliates against them. It’s important to understand your rights and options.

What is retaliation?

Workplace retaliation occurs when a manager or supervisor does something to an employee as a way to get back at them for something. Often, retaliation takes place when an employee has spoken out against certain policies or complained about something inappropriate or illegal happening in the workplace. For example, if it’s well known that the company discriminates against people of color and an employee makes a complaint about it and their manager begins harassing or mistreating them, it’s considered retaliation.

Why do managers retaliate?

Managers might retaliate against an employee for a number of reasons. Usually, it’s due to anger against the employee as the manager feels disrespected even if they were committing illegal or inappropriate acts in the workplace. Retaliation often occurs because the manager takes personal issues with the employee standing up to do the right thing. An employee complaining about a manager can be viewed as intimidating to the manager. The manager might believe that their job is in jeopardy after the employee has made a complaint. They might believe they have done nothing wrong even if they committed illegal acts in the workplace.

What can you do when facing retaliation?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes it illegal for managers or employers to retaliate against employees who make complaints about discrimination, harassment, refusing to provide reasonable accommodations and more. If the employee is facing retaliation, they can file a complaint with the EEOC and report the behavior.

Some people might find that it’s not worth staying at their job due to the unhealthy workplace environment. However, retaliation is illegal. It’s important to know what’s most appropriate for you.