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Take steps to protect yourself if you're retaliated against

Retaliation is a serious action against a person. It's actually the most frequently alleged basis for discrimination cases in the federal sector and the most common finding in these cases.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protects people like yourself against retaliation. According to the law, managers may not demote, fire, harass or otherwise retaliate against individuals when they file a complaint for discrimination, oppose discrimination in the workplace or participate in discrimination proceedings.

How does retaliation manifest in the workplace?

There are a few examples that you can consider to better understand retaliation. For example, take a case where a coworker is being harassed by your superior. You step in and stop it.

Then, the very next day, you receive notice and are terminated. It doesn't make any sense, because you just received a highly positive review. This could be a case of retaliation.

Another example would be if your employer found out that you filed a complaint with the EEOC and then hindered your ability to move up in the company by denying a well-earned promotion. If the complaint was used as a case against your promotion, then that could be a sign of retaliation in your workplace.

Why do people retaliate against their employees if it's illegal?

It's just a matter of control. The desire for retaliation is common if there is an offensive personal encounter, even if that encounter is somehow protected by law. However, uniquely, humans are able to decide how to react based on what is beneficial to them and the consequences that might result. That being said, some people still choose to retaliate while knowing it's wrong, which can come back to haunt the business through a lawsuit.

What should you do if you're retaliated against?

If you are retaliated against, you still have the right to turn to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for support. They can help you understand retaliation and take steps to support you. Your attorney will also help you begin putting together your case. Make sure you record the dates and times of events that you want to report. You should also make note of who was involved in each case of retaliation and the witnesses who may have seen the retaliatory acts.

No one should have to put up with retaliation. You have rights, and it's up to you to make sure others are held accountabe.

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