Workplace retaliation encompasses any action taken against employees by their bosses or managers as punishment for an activity classified by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as “protected.” Examples of behaviors that fall under the umbrella of this illegal conduct include suspending, demoting, slashing the pay or hours of, or firing workers for one of these EEOC-guarded practices.
According to the EEOC, in 2020, reprisal against employees was the most frequent form of charge reported to the agency, accounting for 55.8% of all filed. There are three common reasons workers may experience unfair retribution from those in charge at their jobs.
1. They whistleblew
Even coworkers often view whistleblowers in a negative light even though they are simply trying to comply with the law and/or behave ethically. They appear as traitors. However, both federal and state regulations forbid retaliation and threats against them by both fellow employees and bosses as long as they acted in good faith when reporting suspected violations. It also prohibits them against those who provided information during an ongoing investigation.
2. They took advantage of their federal and state rights
This includes filing for workers’ compensation, trying to obtain accommodations allowed under the law and applying for medical or family leave. While employers may discourage those under them from pursuing these, they may not punish them after the claiming and use of their rights.
3. They fought against discrimination
Complaining about or opposing discrimination are actions workers often find themselves informally under attack for. Even stepping in to halt the harassment of a coworker may result in retaliatory behavior.
Connecticut residents suffering from workplace retaliation have legal recourse. They may file a claim with the EEOC or the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.