What workers should know about retaliation

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2021 | Employment Law |

Retaliation is a serious problem in American workplaces. It can happen in any industry and for a variety of reasons. When a Colorado worker is subjected to retaliatory treatment for who they are or doing the right thing at work, they may have a legal claim to be compensated for their losses that resulted from their employer’s retaliation.

This post will discuss retaliation and what it means in the workplace. It will offer several ways that retaliation can show up in places of employment. No legal advice is conveyed in this post and all readers who have employment law concerns should take their questions to knowledgeable employment law attorneys for counsel.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation is effectively the attempt to “get back” at someone for a perceived wrongdoing. At work, retaliation happens when an employer tries to get back at a worker for protecting their rights, such as reporting discrimination to human resources, or reporting wrongdoing committed by the employer. Retaliation can take on different forms, but often manifests in wrongful terminations, demotions, losses of benefits and work privileges, and other negative consequences.

Examples of actions that are often met with retaliation

As mentioned, retaliation happens when an employer takes adverse action against a worker after the worker protects themselves or acts rightfully to report a wrongdoing at work. For example, if a worker reports the unlawful disposal of hazardous materials by their employer to the EPA, the employer may seek to retaliation against the worker because of the sanctions the employer will face for the discovery of their wrongdoing. Workers in these types of scenarios are called whistleblowers.

Retaliation also happens during incidents of sexual harassment. If, for example, a worker turns down a sexual request proposed by their boss and then loses their job, the firing of the employee may be seen as retaliation for not acquiescing to their employer’s proposition.

Retaliation is serious and problematic. There are remedies for employees who have suffered it. To take active steps to protect oneself from instances of retaliation, readers can communicate with their trusted employment law attorneys.