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Workplace retaliation and protection for workers

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Retaliation

Residents of Hawaii should never feel uncomfortable at their workplaces. Issues like discrimination are illegal, so if they occur, the individual has a right to report it. However, workers who report discrimination sometimes face retaliation. There are certain protections in place for those workers.

What is workplace retaliation?

Workplace retaliation occurs when an employee reports discrimination or another illegal activity by the employer or a person in power, and they face negative consequences at work because of it. If the employer retaliates against the person, it’s against the law. There are various ways the retaliation can occur, but the most common include firing them, lowering their salary, changing their job, demoting them, giving them a negative job performance review or disciplining them.

What protections are in place against retaliation?

Employees who face retaliation against their employers for reporting discrimination have protections. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, can take action against any employer that retaliates against an employee for reporting discrimination or any other illegal activity they have experienced or witnessed. Employees facing retaliation have the right to retain legal counsel and take action in the form of filing a lawsuit against the employer.

What should an employee who suspects retaliation do?

An employee who suspects workplace retaliation should take certain steps. Before filing a complaint with the EEOC, it’s important to go to a supervisor or human resources and talk about what happened. Sometimes, an employer might actually have a valid reason for the action. For example, if your hours were switched to a different shift, it might be due to something legitimate and not retaliation for reporting discrimination. The situation will be looked into by human resources.

If there’s no legitimate reason for the action, it’s fair to believe retaliation has occurred. At that point, the employee can file a complaint with the EEOC.

No one should face retaliation at work for doing the right thing and reporting discrimination. If you are being unfairly treated through retaliation by your employer, you have legal options to fight back.