Is retaliation an act of discrimination?

| Apr 22, 2020 | Employment Law |

Going to work is rewarding and motivational when you have the opportunity to use your skills, talents and creativity. Working with other like-minded people allows you the excitement of being a team player and contributing to a greater good. 

However, you may feel none of those feelings when harassment or discrimination are influencing your experience. Your understanding of the behaviors that qualify as discriminatory in California is important for your protection and satisfaction in the workplace. Retaliation is just one form of discrimination. 

The justification for retaliation 

You may question why someone would consider retaliating against you at work. What could you have possibly done? According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, some of the reasons why workers face retaliation include the following: 

  • You stood up for someone who was being mistreated.  
  • You requested an investigation into the behavior you considered threatening. 
  • You were the witness in a case of discrimination or volunteered to answer questions. 
  • You professionally asked for leniency in regards to religious beliefs, a disability or other personal needs.  

Stand up for yourself 

If you experience mistreatment and are the victim of discriminatory behavior, it is imperative that you report your concerns immediately. Work together with your employer to assess the situation and implement appropriate solutions. If the behavior continues or you still feel threatened, you can request further action. Throughout the process of addressing the discrimination, be sure to keep a timeline of events for use as a reference if the situation worsens and requires evidence of what has happened. You have the right to work in an environment that is safe, comfortable and free of threats to your safety. 

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