Many assume that owners or executives initiate retaliation against an employee, but it can also involve middle management, human resources or others within the company. Regardless of who is involved, these illegal actions can lead to lawsuits and damages.
Common examples of retaliation include:
- Transferring or demoting employees
- Not inviting them to meetings or events they would usually attend
- Making their work environment feel hostile or unsafe
- Limit the employee’s hours
- Withhold a raise or promotion
- Provide an unfairly negative employee review
5 initiatives for addressing the issue
Companies can avoid or reduce the likelihood of retaliatory behavior by taking precautions. These measures include:
- Draft a policy: Create clearly outlined rules in writing and include them in the employee handbook.
- Training: Managers should get training to recognize the behavior in themselves and the staff. Educate all employees on illegal retaliatory behavior as well.
- Disciplinary actions: Managers or executives can meet with those exhibiting retaliatory behavior, issuing a warning and following the measures outlined in the policy. They may also check with HR first to ensure that all their actions are legal and policy compliant.
- Maintain records: Keeping accurate employee records are always beneficial, but noting the actions and documenting the meeting provides factual data that can help protect the employer.
- Protect the targeted worker: Information regarding the employee should be kept confidential when possible. Employees should meet privately with HR if there are concerns about their manager or company leadership. Employees should be assured that they are protected by company policy and all applicable laws.
Do not ignore these issues
Businesses that do not take retaliation issues seriously risk escalating matters. Instead, they should investigate all claims, interview those involved, follow through on their policy, and attempt to address any legal concerns.