Retaliating against an employee for doing the right thing, like blowing the whistle on illegal behavior, is an action prohibited by federal law. This is why employers and workers may try to mask retaliatory behavior as much as possible. Nonetheless, if you know your workplace is treating you unfairly, you might prove their illegal behavior by consulting the employee handbook.
Workplaces outline their policies on forbidden conduct, including behaviors that count as retaliation, to train their workers to not engage in it. An employee handbook is one place you may look to learn how your company describes retaliatory behavior.
Checking the employee handbook
According to Indeed, an employee handbook may have a specific section that describes behaviors that count as retaliation, harassment or discrimination. You will probably read about the company’s rules that forbid specific behaviors. One of these rules may describe the behavior of a worker against you.
The handbook may also describe what to do if you experience retaliation or discrimination, like who to go to in order to register a complaint. Some big businesses have a human resources group. The book may also name an officer in the company or perhaps a group within the leadership that victims of retaliation should approach.
Checking the discipline section
Also, check the handbook’s section that describes how the company disciplines its employees. If you have been subject to a disciplinary hearing, you may learn whether the company acted according to its own procedures. You might also discover how the company documents its hearings. You may want to access records of your disciplinary action to find out if they followed company standards.
Not all companies create employee handbooks, so you may have to check for other written policies from your company like mandatory written notices. Even if you do have a handbook to consult, verifying the book’s content with other sources that repeat the book’s contents may help bolster your case.