Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

How can reporting discrimination lead to retaliation

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2023 | Retaliation

Some employers or managers dislike it when an employee reports an issue such as discrimination. It may be they think the employee is speaking out of turn, is a complainer or is trying to get someone fired. It may be that they fear the allegations could harm the company. Or, they might fear that accusations could lead to problems for them or a close friend at the company.

In all these circumstances, that could lead them to retaliate against the employee. That is illegal in any situation. Employees have legal protection against discrimination based on protected characteristics such as their gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, religion or disability. That protection extends to protecting them from retaliation for reporting it. Of course, as with most forms of improper conduct that are banned, discrimination and retaliation still occur regularly in workplaces across the country.

Examples of retaliation

Retaliation could take many forms. For example: 

  • Dismissing someone
  • Refusing to promote them
  • Demoting them
  • Docking wages
  • Overlooking them for overtime
  • Denying training opportunities
  • Excluding them from social events
  • Acting nastily toward them
  • Moving them to a less attractive desk or office

While some of those actions are overt, some are much more subtle. It could leave the employee wondering whether they really are suffering retaliation or whether it is in their head. If they ask friends or colleagues, they too might be unsure whether failing to get a promotion was just bad luck or whether it was a genuine retaliatory action.

If you are sure you have suffered workplace retaliation, you can find out more about your legal options. If you are unsure, you can get a qualified outside assessment of the situation to see if it does warrant action.