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5 signs of workplace retaliation 

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Retaliation

Workplace retaliation is the act of punishing an employee for engaging in legally protected activities, such as reporting harassment or discrimination or whistleblowing unethical or unsafe workplace behaviors.

An employee may not immediately realize that they are suffering from workplace retaliation. Here are some examples of what retaliation looks like:

1. Exclusion from meetings

An early sign that an employee is facing retaliation is if they are suddenly excluded from meetings and work chats and emails that they were once heavily involved in. This is often an attempt at distancing employees from their co-workers. As a result, work may go unfinished and an employee may be removed from their resources. This may also be a form of manipulation to create issues between employees. 

2. Overworked/underworked

An employee who is overloaded with work could be facing retaliation. The extra work is likely meant to make it look like an employee is underperforming if they’re unable to do it all. Conversely, the same could happen if an employee is given much less work to do, which can make them look and feel unnecessary in the workplace.

3. Sudden role changes

Another kind of retaliation happens when an employee is given a new role. This role likely doesn’t align with an employee’s experiences and skills, which may make it harder for them to do their job.

4. Denied promotion

An employee may have been promised a promotion. Later, the promotion was passed up or given to someone else. This is likely the result of retaliation.

5. Negative performance review

An employer may give an employee a poor performance review despite how well an employee is doing at their job. This negative performance review could be used as ammunition to terminate, suspend or demote an employee and make them feel unwanted in the workplace.

An employee who’s become a victim of workplace discrimination may need to learn what legal actions they can take to protect themselves and others.