8 Examples Of Workplace Retaliation

Employment Law October 6th, 2023
workplace retaliation man pointing at worker workplace retaliation man pointing at worker

Workplace retaliation is a serious offense that can have long-lasting consequences for both the victim and the employer. If your workplace is trying to “get even” with you, you should know that California has employment laws against workplace retaliation.

By definition, workplace retaliation is when your employer tries to punish you for exercising your rights as a worker, such as receiving breaks, being paid at least minimum wage as set by California law, and working in an environment free from sexual harassment.

Reasons An Employer Might Try To Retaliate

A vindictive employer may try to retaliate after you resist sexual harassment, file a sexual harassment claim, are witness to a discrimination claim, or intervene on behalf of another. An unscrupulous employer might also try to retaliate after you communicate with a supervisor or management about job discrimination, answer questions during an investigation about workplace discrimination, request accommodation for a religious practice or disability, refuse to follow orders that may result in discrimination or ask co-workers or managers about salary information that might shed light on possibly discriminatory wages.

8 Examples Of What Workplace Retaliation Might Look Like

Retaliation in the workplace may be obvious or subtle. If you have experienced any of the following, you may be a victim of workplace retaliation.

1. Termination

Being fired soon after your employer learns about your complaints or activities is a clear indication that you have been the victim of workplace retaliation in the form of wrongful termination.

2. Demotion

A demotion is often humiliating, especially when it is obvious to your co-workers and clients. Demotions can also come with financial hardship when pay cuts are involved. If a demotion comes after you complain about harassment, salary inequities, or other problems in the workplace, it may be a sign of workplace retaliation.

3. Passed Over For Promotion

Promotions are important to all workers, of course. If your employer passes you over and gives a promotion to someone else shortly after you file a complaint or act in a legal manner that upsets your employer, it could be the result of retaliation.

4. Being Excluded From Important Meetings Or Gatherings

Your employer might say that they forgot to invite you or say that the meetings or gatherings did not concern you.

5. Altered Schedule

The employer might try to retaliate by changing your schedule, which could interfere with your ability to work. You might be switched to a different shift without warning or consent, for example, which would be a burden if you have small children.

6. Denied Requests

An employer might seek retaliation by denying your requests for vacation, for example, but approve other workers’ requests. A vindictive employer might also deny your requests for changes in job descriptions, requests for more or fewer hours, or other requests while approving the same requests for other workers.

7. Cutting Your Hours

Your employer might try slashing your hours to “starve” you out of your job.

8. Intense Scrutiny From Supervisors

Your employer may demand that your supervisors watch over you more closely than they do others, or criticize your work more harshly.

Contact D.Law For More Information About Workplace Retaliation

None of these actions are acceptable under California law. Fortunately, you can do something about it. If you are experiencing workplace retaliation, you need an employment lawyer who understands the law and other employment laws in California. Contact D.Law today – our employment attorneys represent employees in the Bay Area, San Diego, Fresno, LA, and other areas who have been harassed or wrongfully terminated.

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