Workplace retaliation against an employee for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination is against the law in Indiana. But it can also be difficult for victims to prove. How can you know that you were fired or punished at work out of retaliation, or if management had legitimate reasons for its actions, as it claims?
Signs of workplace retaliation
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggests the following possible signs of illegal retaliation:
- Undeserved employee reprimands
- A performance evaluation that grades you lower than you deserve
- A sudden transfer to a less desirable position
- Increased scrutiny of your job performance
- Physical or verbal abuse
- Contacting, or threatening to contact, authorities to “get” you, such as ICE
- False rumors about you being spread around
- Making it more difficult to do your job, such as by switching your work schedule so that it conflicts with your parental responsibilities
Often, the key is a sudden change in how management treats you. If your supervisor used to praise your work, but now is giving you negative performance reviews and making nasty remarks to you, that could be a strong sign that their motivations are not based on legitimate concerns about your work. Instead, the difference in your supervisor’s attitude could be due to your coming to them with allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination.
Asserting your rights in court
Without the right to sue, workers would be highly vulnerable to their employers’ retaliation tactics. Not only would people be punished for speaking up about wrongdoing in their workplace, but others would be intimidated out of asserting their rights to a discrimination-free workplace.
Fortunately, Indianapolis workers have the right to take legal action against retaliation. If successful, a lawsuit can compensate you for damages you suffered, such as lost past and future wages.