California and federal law give employees substantial rights, and you can report your employer if they violate one of them. For example, an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic or require you to break the law. If you report this illegal activity, then your employer might retaliate against you.
Sometimes, it is not always easy to know whether you have been retaliated against. In this post, we will discuss some of the most common forms of retaliation, starting with the most obvious.
You are Terminated or Demoted
After reporting discrimination or other illegal behavior, you might receive a pink slip or be demoted. This is classic retaliatory behavior, especially when your employer has no other legitimate reason for taking adverse action against you.
For example, you might never have received complaints about your work performance or attendance. In many cases, your employer will try to justify the negative action by offering a pretext that is clearly false.
You are Passed Over for a Promotion
Sometimes, bosses won’t fire employees. Instead, they retaliate by not promoting or offering a raise to them. Of course, no employee is entitled to a raise or promotion. However, your boss must have non-retaliatory reasons for passing you over.
As a first step, you should ask your boss why he or she overlooked you. If your boss admits to passing you over because you complained about discrimination, then you have a valid retaliation claim. If the reason given sounds fishy, you might want to get help from an experienced attorney.
You are Excluded from Important Activities or Decisions
Often, retaliation takes a subtle form. Excluding someone from important business opportunities is one of them.
To qualify as retaliation, the exclusion must be more than simply being uninvited to a single company social event. Instead, the exclusion usually must affect your ability to do your job.
For example, your boss might offer trainings for team members to improve their skills but neglect to include you. Or your boss might offer chances to do higher-level work but not give you any opportunity to participate. In these situations, you might have a valid retaliation claim.
You Suffer Workplace Bullying
Many times, your boss and even other co-workers will be unhappy that you reported discriminatory behavior. As a result, they might isolate you or, even worse, begin to bully you. Bullying behavior can take many forms, such as:
- Physical violence
- Verbal abuse
If you face bullying, you should carefully document the abuse and reach out to an attorney to discuss your case.
Negative References/Post-Employment Retaliation
Sometimes, the retaliation does not end even after you leave the workplace. For example, a former supervisor might give you a negative reference full of misrepresentations when you apply for a different job. They also might spread falsehoods about your time at the company, which can make it harder for you to find subsequent employment.
Contact a Workplace Attorney About Your Retaliation Case
If you have suffered retaliation at work by your boss, you might be able to bring a retaliation lawsuit. Contact the Workplace Rights Law Group as soon as possible to discuss your case. Call or submit an online message.