Even though you still believe you did the right thing, there are certainly times when you wish you had not stood up for a co-worker’s rights, filed a complaint with human resources or contacted authorities about workplace discrimination or other illegal activities. They called you a whistleblower and maybe other not-so-kind names. Your life may have been easier if you had kept it to yourself.
After you made the bold move to speak up, things were never the same. Although you probably feel isolated, it may help to know you are not alone. Almost half of the workplace discrimination grievances submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are retaliation complaints.
Why don’t you just quit?
Some studies report that about 70 percent of retaliation efforts come from managers, but co-workers may follow suit to demonstrate loyalty. While your boss may not outright fire you, he or she may take more subtle steps to make your time at work uncomfortable, even unbearable. Some examples of retaliation include:
- Verbal or physical abuse
- Poor evaluations
- Disagreeable assignments
- Exclusion from colleagues
- Unreasonable workload
You may even have a difficult time proving that the mistreatment is actually retaliation because the point is to make their retaliatory actions seem legitimate.
At first, you may have thought you could wait it out, ignore it and let it run its course. However, retaliation efforts typically escalate. You, like 40 percent of those who face bullying on the job, stay put either because you can’t afford to quit, you really enjoy the work or you simply don’t want the bully to win.
Join forces to fight retaliation
No employee deserves to be treated disrespectfully. Federal employment laws defend the right to fair treatment on the job. This doesn’t always stop a manager whose pride or reputation you may have injured when you blew the whistle or stood up against unethical practices.
If you are struggling to get yourself out of bed in the morning because you dread going to work to face another day of abuse or mistreatment, you may be wondering how much more you can take. Your health and well-being may be at risk. Fortunately, employment attorneys with experience handling retaliation cases will advocate for you. By obtaining the advice of a compassionate and determined lawyer, you will know the best step to take to seek justice for the mistreatment you have suffered.