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Recognizing workplace retaliation

As someone who makes your living in California, you have certain rights, and the law allows you to assert these rights without having to fear retaliation from your employer or supervisors. Regrettably, however, retaliation is a common occurrence in many American work environments, although some workers may not immediately realize when they become victims of this type of behavior. At the office of Jay S. Rothman & Associates, we recognize that workplace retaliation can take many different forms, and we have helped many people who experienced unfair treatment on the job pursue appropriate recourse.

Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the first step in recognizing instances of workplace retaliation involves understanding what constitutes a “protected activity,” with “protected activities” being those your employer cannot give you a hard time for engaging in. For example, your employer or supervisors cannot discriminate or harass you because you refused to follow orders that were unlawful or discriminatory in nature, or because you refuted the sexual advances of someone in a position of power over you.

Furthermore, no one in your place of business may harass or discriminate against you because you requested a reasonable accommodation on account of a disability or religious preference, or because you participated in an investigation relating to employer harassment. If your employer, supervisor or colleagues do retaliate against you for taking any of these actions, the retaliation may take any number of different forms.

Depending on circumstances, you may be a victim of workplace retaliation if you receive a demotion without a valid reason, or if you receive an unjust performance review in the aftermath of exercising one of your protected rights. It may, too, constitute retaliation if your work suddenly becomes more difficult or less favorable than it used to be, among other examples. You can find more about workplace retaliation on our webpage.

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