If you witness or experience discriminatory or illegal activity at work, your conscience may drive you to report it. By law, you have the right to protection against retaliatory behaviors.
Knowing what retaliation looks like can help you identify unfair treatment right away. If retaliation provides ongoing distraction from your job duties, you have the right to take legal action.
If your initial report exposed other people within the organization you work for, they may feel anger toward you. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it is impossible to prevent retaliation entirely, but your employer should provide education and training to reduce the likelihood of such events occurring. Additionally, they should vocalize the consequences for discriminatory and retaliatory behavior to discourage people from perpetrating that type of behavior.
Retaliation can take on many forms including the following:
- Pay cuts
- Denied promotion
Protecting your safety
If you feel like retaliatory behavior is preventing you from focusing at work, threatening your safety or jeopardizing your job, you should report your concerns to your employer. Ask them to provide you updates about the situation and the disciplinary measures they plan to enforce to protect you from ongoing harassment.
If your employer ignores your concerns, you may suffer anxiety or you may fear for your safety. Such circumstances may interfere with your desire to go to work each day. If you need additional help building your case, presenting evidence and holding your employer accountable, you may want to hire an attorney. Even if your honesty disrupted unethical circumstances, you deserve to feel comfortable, safe and valued at work.