If you have observed illegal actions at your workplace, you probably felt compelled to speak out about them. Unfortunately, you may have experienced retaliation for being a whistleblower, perhaps in the form of a hostile work environment. This might be the result of gaslighting.
Psychology Today explains that gaslighting happens when one or more individuals manipulate an environment to make a person doubt his or her judgment or memories of how certain events have transpired. The result can be psychological and emotional stress, and you may feel so disturbed by the negative environment that you quit your job.
How gaslighting creates a toxic environment
If you suddenly lose out on job perks and your fellow workers begin treating you with disrespect, a gaslighter may have been spreading rumors or outright lies about you. This may happen even if you have evidence to show that the gaslighter is spreading false information. It is possible the gaslighter is in a position superior to you and most other workers, which can make it hard to convince other employees that your unfavorable reputation is not deserved.
Gaslighters may deny their actions
Confronting a gaslighter does not often cause the gaslighter to back down or admit fault. Generally, a person spreading misinformation will deny doing so. You may expect a gaslighter to respond to your accusations with defensiveness or hostility, or the gaslighter may dismiss your claims as if you are exaggerating a normal workplace situation. Even if you respond with facts, the gaslighter might reply with evasive rhetoric or just stonewall you.
Protect your workplace rights
Given that gaslighting can create a hostile workplace environment, you may have options to protect your rights. Gather what evidence you can concerning your work situation so that, if you choose to exercise legal options, you may support your claims against your employer.