Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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Employees Are Protected From Workplace Retaliation

Something isn’t quite right at work. Guidelines are ignored, violations occur, and worker concerns are dismissed. Knowing that you are doing the right thing, you decide to speak up and report the misdeeds to management. But the results aren’t what you had expected. You’re passed over for promotions, colleagues avoid you, and your manager has given you a horrendous review.

This is workplace retaliation at its worst. The emotional damage has set in. There’s no looking back. You have some options: Maintain a brave face and march on, quit your job, or contact an experienced attorney who understands employment law.

How whistleblowers get protection

In many workplaces, management views whistleblowers with disdain. A whistleblower points out the irregularities, unfairness and illegal activities committed by and within a company. These are secrets that the company does not want disclosed. And when these secrets surface, watch out if you’re a whistleblower. Workplace retaliation likely will follow.

By law, employees are protected from retaliation, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is unlawful to retaliate against employees and job applicants for:

  • Filing a complaint or lawsuit against the company
  • Reporting discrimination of any kind – including sexual, racial and age-based
  • Resisting sexual overtures
  • Seeking accommodations due to a disability or religion

However, workplace retaliation continues to occur. In legal terms, workplace retaliation includes harassing, demoting and terminating workers who have complained or filed a discrimination claim with human resources. However, retaliation also surfaces in other ways such as poor job evaluations, undesirable work assignments, bullying, and ostracization from co-workers.

Protect yourself, document everything

Managers are the ones who most often initiate retaliation tactics, according to workplace experts. If you are a target of workplace retaliation, you need to look out for yourself. Document everything related to the incidents, and make sure to save all threatening and bullying emails or voicemails.

You don’t want such situations to escalate. Remember, you have the power because you have the law on your side. However, workplace retaliation may take an emotional toll. You’ve done the right thing in speaking up. But, sometimes, you may have to be aware of and on the alert to the potential barbed wire that may spring up afterward in your workplace.

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