If your employer took negative actions against you in response to a workplace discrimination complaint or other protected activity, you might have grounds for a retaliation case.
To prove retaliation occurred, you need sufficient facts to support your claim.
Examples of workplace retaliation
Retaliatory actions are sometimes obvious but can be more subtle. Often, an imposed consequence has enough of an adverse effect on the employee to prevent others from filing complaints:
- Reduction in salary
- Demotion of position
- Exclusion from staff meetings
- Unwarranted negative performance review
- Threatening statements
- Spreading rumors about you
- Termination of employment
Ways to prove your case
An employer cannot retaliate against any staff member in response to a legally protected action, but how can you prove retaliation? The first step is to document everything, so you have a detailed record of events. An accurate accounting of the events and when they occurred helps show that your negative experience directly resulted from your actions. You need to prove that the procedure taken against you happened closely following your efforts. If a significant amount of time passed between events, it is not likely to hold up in court.
Demonstrating damages and causation
Your case relies on making a connection between your activity and your employer’s actions. Recovering damages depends on showing you suffered a loss. Gather paperwork showing your earnings before retaliation, such as W2 forms or paystubs. Also, get copies of any benefits you had before your employer terminated your position, transferred or demoted you.
When you file a complaint about harassment or discrimination or refuse to carry out orders that result in discrimination, your employer cannot retaliate against you. If you encounter workplace retaliation, document as much as you can to help prove your claim in court.