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How employers can make your job miserable when you speak up

male employee yelling at male coworker
Maybe you noticed one of the company executives sending suspicious-looking wire transfers. Perhaps you have a co-worker who makes inappropriate racial comments to you.

You will likely expect the company to protect you when you speak up about a hostile work environment or obvious warning signs of worker misconduct. However, sometimes management or human resources will retaliate against a worker who reports an issue rather than trying to protect them.

Some of the more common forms of retaliation include unjustified write-ups and wrongful termination. The company might also take either of the steps below to make your work life miserable. 

Human resources may share your complaint with others

Workers should have the protection of confidentiality when they go to human resources about a serious issue on the job. The sad truth is that human resource workers may share your complaints with the person the complaint was about or with the management team. You may find people treating you differently or singling you out because what you’ve shared with human resources didn’t stay private. 

Your work opportunities change in a subtle way

Some companies are too smart to fire you or move you to another shift as a form of workplace retaliation. They know you could quickly connect that to your recent complaint and take action against the business.

Instead, they might move you to a different desk where you will have routine annoyances on the job or start giving you fewer leaves for sales. Such subtle changes are often more difficult to prove than big, obvious disciplinary actions.

Recognizing and documenting the warning signs of employer retaliation can help you fight back against this kind of company misconduct.

 

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