What Is Workplace Retaliation? 

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No individual should have to face unfair treatment in the workplace, including retaliation from a supervisor or their employer. Retaliation can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, employees face backlash for reporting unsafe working conditions or discrimination in the workplace. In other cases, individuals face retaliation simply because of who they are, particularly if they are part of a group protected by state or federal law.

Understanding Workplace Retaliation

According to the US Department of Labor (DOL), workplace retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee or fires an employee for engaging in a protected activity.

It is important to understand what types of protected activity are covered when it comes to retaliation. This can include retaliation based on the following:

  • Taking allowable leave under the California family rights act (CFRA) or the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Retaliation based on a person’s race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, pregnancy status, veteran status, sexuality, gender identity, etc.
  • Retaliation for reporting unfair wage practices or for discussing salary in the workplace.
  • Retaliation for reporting discrimination in the workplace.
  • Retaliation for refusing sexual advances by a co-worker or supervisor or for reporting such advances.

In addition to these common reasons for retaliation in the workplace, employees can also face retaliation for sustaining an injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim. In many cases, employers try to discourage their workers from reporting injuries to try and save money when it comes to workers’ compensation premiums.

Additionally, employees can face retaliation for reporting hazardous workplace conditions. Reporting these conditions often results in the employer having to make dramatic changes in the workplace to improve safety, and this could result in fines or other penalties from state and federal regulators. However, it is illegal to retaliate against an employee for raising such concerns.

Signs of Workplace Retaliation

It can be challenging to know whether or not you are facing workplace retaliation. In some cases, retaliation may seem like typical “stress” in the workplace, such as a difficult supervisor. However, there are often specific signs that a worker is facing retaliation. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Receiving less favorable shifts
  • Diminishing training opportunities
  • Outright termination from a job
  • Not receiving a raise or promotion when one is due
  • Unfair poor performance reviews
  • Being micromanaged by a supervisor
  • Exclusion from meetings or projects

Workplace retaliation is more than just a nuisance. This can result in less income for an individual as well as significant emotional and psychological stress. If you were somebody you love has faced any type of workplace retaliation, particularly for reporting a workplace injury or hazardous workplace conditions, you need to reach out to a Long Beach worker’s compensation attorney immediately. These claims can be challenging to prove, but when you have an employment law attorney by your side, you will have an advocate with the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into the incident.

Victims of workplace retaliation may be entitled to various types of compensation, including front and back pay, additional benefits and bonuses that they missed out on, reinstatement to a position or job, pain and suffering damages, attorney fees, and more.