Life can suddenly become unbearable at your workplace soon after you file a harassment claim or report misconduct. You may fall out of favor with your employer and face demotion, dismissal or even have your wages and benefits decreased without valid reasons.
When this happens, you could be a victim of employer retaliation, which is illegal. Massachusetts laws prohibit employers from taking adverse actions against their employees for engaging in protected activities like filing harassment complaints or assisting investigations of such claims.
What should you do about it?
If you are a victim of employer retaliation, the first thing you need to do is document your ordeal. Employers may try to justify their actions to avoid potential legal consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to have evidence of retaliation such as communication records or statements from your colleagues.
The next step is informing your employer about the retaliation by following the proper channels in your organization. Seek an explanation of your employer’s actions and if there is none, ask for the retaliation to stop. It is crucial to do so in writing and remember to keep a copy for documentation purposes.
Understand your legal options in the face of employer retaliation
If the retaliation persists, you may need to escalate the matter. You could be entitled to compensation for any harm or losses suffered from employer retaliation. For instance, you can recover lost wages and get reinstated to your job if you were illegally dismissed.
However, you must file a claim against your employer with the relevant regulatory bodies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). Being aware of the steps to take in such instances and what you need to do for a successful claim will help you get justice and safeguard your legal rights.