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Do you think your employer is retaliating against you?

Like other Houston residents, when you accepted the job with your employer, you probably expected to get along with your co-workers, supervisors and others in the workplace. All you wanted to do was go to work, get your job done, go home at the end of the day and maybe even make some friends in the process.

Sadly, after the "honeymoon" phase ended, your work environment became hostile. Whether you faced discrimination or harassment, you followed the company rules to make a complaint. Afterward, you began to feel as though your superiors treated you differently. Does their behavior constitute retaliation?

What does retaliation look like?

You may have expected the cold shoulder for filing a complaint for discrimination or harassment, but now you feel as though the actions of your superiors and co-workers go beyond that. The problem is that there is often a fine line between lawful actions and retaliation, and knowing the difference is not always an easy task. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the following acts could constitute retaliation:

  • Your employer may transfer you to a lesser position after you filed your complaint.
  • You could suddenly receive a bad performance review when all your previous ones were always good.
  • You may feel as though your employer now scrutinizes everything you do in contrast to how things were prior to your complaint.
  • Your co-workers and/or superiors could begin verbally or physically abusing you.
  • Your employer could take steps to make your work more difficult. For instance, your superiors may change your work schedule in a way that makes meeting your personal and professional responsibilities more difficult.
  • You could discover that someone is spreading false rumors about you.

These are not the only forms of retaliation you could experience, but it gives you an idea of what the law considers retaliation. Those engaging in retaliation often attempt to do so subtly, which only makes identifying it more difficult. It could take you some time to realize there is a problem, or you could recognize it right away if your employer makes no attempt to disguise it.

In any case, proving retaliation is not always easy. More often than not, the burden of proof remains with you. You will need to provide the appropriate proof, which means documenting everything you can. When you make an allegation of retaliation, your employer will more than likely look to an attorney to represent its interests, and you may want to consider doing the same.

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Sturm Law PLLC
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Houston, TX 77002

Phone: 713-955-1800
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