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What is workplace retaliation?

Sometimes in sports, a player may receive what they perceive to be a dirty hit or unfair call. Rather than accepting the matter as finished, some athletes will choose to retaliate against the offending player or referee when the opportunity presents itself. This form of payback is dangerous and damaging, and New York employees may know that it happens in places other than the athletic fields.

Employees who seek to advocate for their own rights, such as the right to work free of harassment or discrimination, sometimes bear the burden of retaliation from those who employ them. They may feel the retaliation in the form of unwarranted bad performance reviews, demotions to positions of less stature than they previously held, and other adverse actions that affect their employment.

Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who speak out about problems in their places of employment, and legal protections regarding retaliation also apply to other employees who may participate in discrimination or harassment investigations. For example, an employee who does not lodge an harassment complaint against their supervisor but who testifies to have witnessed the supervisor harassing the complaining party may not be victimized through employment retaliation.

Retaliation in the workplace can come up due to a number of employment-related disputes, such as those previously mentioned or when an employee blows the whistle against an illegal or dangerous practice of their employer. In some cases, though, an employer may not realize that they have retaliated against an employee, which makes these cases difficult. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against and employers who are facing retaliation claims are encouraged to seek legal support to devise case-specific strategies to their serious and pending legal dilemmas.

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