All employees can protect their rights and report discrimination and harassment at work. If you face adverse treatment after filing a claim, you may have a case of retaliation on your hands.
The most prevalent type of discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. workplace is retaliation, with nearly 38,000 cases in 2021. Retaliation can negatively impact your career and well-being.
A sudden shift in treatment
The EEOC defines retaliation as punishment or harassment at work. Retaliation may follow a claim of workplace discrimination by you or someone close to you. If you were someone who once received praise for your work but now receives an onslaught of criticism, it may be retaliation. Likewise, a telltale sign includes superiors excluding you from company-related meetings.
A loss in advancement opportunities
Retaliation can put a stop to expected promotions and raises. If you were on a path of advancement but now face rejection, it could be a sign that your employer wants to block your way.
Additionally, your superiors may unfairly shift your responsibilities. For example, your employer may expect you to perform less desirable tasks that you did not have to do prior. Your employer may be unable to give you a valid explanation for the changes.
Experiencing retaliation can transform your workplace into a hostile environment. To build a case, describe the protected activity you believe your employer is retaliating against you for, record any incidents that support your claim, discuss your claim with potential witnesses and check the employee handbook for guidance on how to handle workplace issues.