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How to prove retaliation at work

There are times when an employer, more commonly an employee, such as a supervisor, will retaliate against another party. For example, this can result from filing a complaint or turning down a sexual advance.

It goes without saying that most employers fight against retaliation claims. They will never admit they are wrong, meaning the victim has to prove he or she was retaliated against.

Proving retaliation at work is not always simple, but at the same time it is anything but impossible. Some of the most common types of retaliation evidence include:

-- An employer who failed to properly investigate a complaint.

-- A pattern of retaliatory action against employees who were in the same position.

-- Unequal treatment when compared to other employees who are not in the same position.

-- An employer that took action against a worker shortly after the protected conduct, such as reporting wrongdoing.

-- Given the "runaround" with regard to the employer's action.

Anybody who is trying to prove retaliation at work should collect as much information as possible with respect to the situation. This may include notes of what happened in the past, including details of all conversations.

It may not be easy to prove retaliation at work, especially when your employer is fighting against the accusation every step of the way. Fortunately, there are steps that individuals can take to prove they were retaliated against.

There are times when workers do not know what to do next. This is particularly true if their employer continues to treat them poorly. At that point, consulting with a workplace attorney can be a good decision.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association, "Commonly Asked Questions about Employer Retaliation" accessed Feb. 02, 2015

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