If you file a complaint against your employer for discrimination or other illegal activities, the law protects you from retaliation. Unfortunately, not every act of retaliation is obvious. Managers may use subtle actions to punish you for making a complaint. What subtle acts of retaliation might a manager employ?
1. Poor performance reviews
Performance reviews can be an essential way to mark your progress and success on the job, but they could also be used a tool for your supervisor to retaliate against you. Particularly harsh reviews can lay the groundwork for decreasing your pay or for wrongful termination, or they could simply limit your career prospects. Even seemingly small comments could be a subtle way to undermine you after you made a report.
2. Leaving you out of important meetings
While leaving someone out of an important discussion can be accidental, it can also be a way for managers to intentionally exclude a person from active participation. This can make it difficult to keep up with ongoing projects or offer necessary input.
3. Changing your work schedule
Providing you with fewer hours, moving you to a less desirable shift or changing your workday to more inconvenient hours could be a form of retaliation.
4. Negative job references
While many forms of retaliation occur within the workplace itself, retaliation can also occur long after your time at a company has ended. Making unjustified negative statements during a reference check or refusing to provide a reference can have a marked impact on a person’s career.
5. Denying an employment perk
Many employees have access to benefits like use of a company car or access to company credit cards. Denying access to these perks could be one way that managers try to punish an employee for their actions.
Whether subtle or overt, retaliating against an employee for taking a protected action is illegal. If you believe your employer has acted in retaliation against you, document these instances and consider speaking to an experienced attorney about your experiences. They can help you explore the options for protecting your career.