Anticouni & Ricotta | Leaders In Employment Litigation Serving Clients Throughout California.

What is workplace retaliation?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Wrongful Termination |

Workplace retaliation happens when a worker who engages in a protected activity faces negative employment actions by their employer because of those actions. These activities can include filing a complaint about discrimination or harassment, participating in an investigation or whistleblowing about illegal practices. 

Various federal and state laws prohibit retaliation. The goal is to protect employees’ right to speak out against workplace injustices without fear of something negative happening to them at work.

Recognizing forms of retaliation

Retaliation can manifest in multiple ways, ranging from overt actions to more subtle changes that negatively affect an employee’s work environment or career prospects. Typical forms of retaliation include:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Salary reduction
  • Job or shift reassignments
  • Exclusion from training opportunities

Both employees and employers must recognize these actions as unethical and illegal.

Best practices for preventing and addressing retaliation

Employers should implement clear policies and training programs that educate employees about what constitutes retaliation and the protections in place. A transparent complaint resolution process and a policy ensuring complaints are treated seriously and investigated promptly are essential.

Employees who are being subjected to retaliatory actions should keep track of the incidents. It’s important to note that any of these incidents must be specifically related to the protected action. Any adverse employment actions due to documented violations of company police aren’t considered retaliatory actions. 

Unfortunately, some employers or their representatives don’t abide by the laws related to retaliation. This leaves employers having to face some difficult situations. When that happens, those employees may opt to take legal action to address the issues. 

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