Going to work every day can be challenging enough without having to deal with illegal workplace discrimination. If you suspect your employer may be treating you differently because of your race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex or even age, you may have a legal right to complain.
Your employer likely cannot retaliate against you for complaining about employment discrimination, filing an official discrimination charge or otherwise asserting your legal rights. While terminating your employment may be a clear-cut sign of retaliation, your employer may engage in subtler forms of illegal retaliation.
Ironically, your employer may respond to a harassment or discrimination complaint by harassing or discriminating against you. If your manager makes jokes, relocates you to a different workspace, sets unrealistic expectations or engages in other harassing behaviors, you may be the victim of illegal retaliation in the workplace.
If you are good at your job, you may expect your employer to offer you a promotion. This may be especially true if your manager has promised you one. Denied promotions may be evidence of retaliation. Likewise, if your employer refuses to give you a raise or even demotes you, it may be worthwhile to explore your legal options.
To be effective with your job, you may need to undergo regular training or take advantage of educational opportunities. If your employer denies you training opportunities, retaliation may be the motivation. Even worse, if a lack of training makes you perform poorly, your manager may be trying to force you out of your job.
Ultimately, any adverse employment action your employer takes against you in response to your discrimination or harassment complaint may constitute impermissible retaliation. Because retaliation may be subtle and occur over time, you may want to keep a detailed journal to document your employer’s bad behaviors.