Sexual harassment and sex discrimination have been problems in the workforce for decades. In the #MeToo era, though, a growing number of individuals are identifying improper behavior and exercising their legal right to complain. Nonetheless, sometimes, employers illegally retaliate against workers for reporting harassment or filing an official claim.
Termination of employment is arguably the clearest indicator of retaliation. Still, retaliation comes in a variety of forms. Here are three subtle signs that you may be the victim of retaliation for complaining about workplace discrimination or harassment:
If you work as part of a team, you know how important the collaborative process often is. Yet, you can only contribute to the organization if your manager and others include you. If your boss takes steps to isolate you following a harassment complaint, retaliation may be to blame.
You likely have skills and ideas that your employer values. Of course, you can only use your abilities if your manager acknowledges them. After reporting sexual harassment, women not only feel isolated, but they may also regularly report having colleagues ignore their ideas, suggestions or work product. Further, your manager may stop talking to you altogether. Either way, because most workplaces offer social environments, having coworkers avoid you may take a toll.
Bosses usually enjoy wide latitude when facilitating workplace interactions. An unscrupulous manager may, however, encourage infighting following a sexual harassment claim. If your boss tries to pit coworkers, clients or anyone else against you, you may have evidence of illegal workplace retaliation.
You have a right not to experience sexual harassment at work. You also have a right to report unacceptable behavior to your company’s HR staff. If your claim results in either clear or subtle retaliation, though, you likely must act quickly to protect yourself and your career.