What workers should know about employment-based retaliation

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2021 | Employment Law |

A job is a necessary part of life for most Cleveland residents. While many may prefer to spend their time with their families or working on hobbies, most people have to work in order to earn incomes and provide for the people they love. When at work, it is not uncommon for men and women to do their best to protect their jobs and seek advancement in their careers.

It is a sad fact, however, that sometimes doing the right thing at work involves taking action that may be detrimental to one’s employer. When a worker is put in the difficult position of speaking up in the face of mistakes or wrongdoing at work, they may be unjustly punished for their actions. Retaliation is a problem in American workplaces and will be discussed in the context of employment in this post.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation happens when someone seeks to injure or harm another person for the other’s assertion of their rights or proper action to correct a wrong that they see. For example, a worker who knows that their employer is illegally dumping waste into a river in violation of regulations may report that wrongful act to the proper authorities. But, for their initiative their employer may attempt to retaliate against them by firing them, demoting them, or taking away work benefits.

Similarly, a worker may face retaliation when they are the victim of sexual harassment. If a worker is approached by their superior and propositioned with a raise based on their involvement in a sexual interaction with the superior, but the worker refuses, they may face retaliation. Their superior may attempt to take disciplinary action against them or alter their schedule to make it less desirable.

What to do about retaliation

Retaliation is a serious problem for workers. No worker should feel threatened in their place of employment for doing what is right or standing up for themselves. When retaliation, discrimination, or harassment happens at work, individuals should remember that they have rights. This post does not provide legal advice, but readers should remember that employment law attorneys are available to support the needs of workers who have suffered harm at the hands of their employers.



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