Retaliation is when a company takes some type of adverse action against an employee because of a complaint that he or she filed. The complaint can be the result of many things, such as a claim of discrimination or sexual harassment.
Some of the most common forms of retaliation include firing the employee, demoting the person to another position, giving them a poor review, or reducing their benefits or pay.
While some companies have a system in place to prevent retaliation, ensuring that all employees are aware that this is not tolerated, others fall short. Instead, they do not consider this important as they don't feel it will ever become a problem.
Some of the ways companies help prevent claims of retaliation include:
-- Create a policy and/or mention this in the employee handbook.
-- Deal with any and all complaints in a timely manner.
-- Keep all complaints confidential to ensure that the problem does not worsen.
-- Keep records of every complaint.
Even when employers have a system in place for preventing retaliation, it does not mean that they will be effective in doing so. If one worker retaliates against another, no matter how he or she does so, it can cause trouble for the company.
As an employee, you need to know your rights. You need to know how to pinpoint retaliation and what to do if you are put in this position. Even if your company has a policy in place to prevent retaliation, it does not mean that it will be 100 percent effective at all times. You need to do what is best for you, not necessarily your company.
Source: FindLaw, "Workplace Retaliation," accessed July 14, 2015