Sometimes raising a concern about your workplace or coworkers is essential to maintaining a safe environment. While some companies welcome feedback and ways to support their workers, other employers may be frustrated or feel that investigating the issue is a waste of time.
There was a time when retaliation came in obvious forms. However, with improved rules about retaliation, employers may be subtle while still trying to retaliate against you after you bring up an issue like harassment or discrimination.
Here are some of the subtle ways that an employer might retaliate.
Distancing or exclusion
Your employer likely knows they cannot fire you for reporting an issue in the workplace, but they may make it uncomfortable. Rather than dismissing you, you may notice that your boss excludes you from meetings or that do not invite you to company social activities.
You may also notice that others in your workplace specifically avoid you or refuse to talk to you. These methods are meant to make the workplace uncomfortable without aggressive action.
Making duties or hours undesirable
Similar to exclusion, changing your responsibilities can make the workplace uncomfortable. Depending on your workplace, this could take one of many forms, including:
- Reducing your hours
- Increasing your workload
- Changing your duties to a less-desirable area
- Moving you to an undesirable shift
- Holding you to an unnecessarily standard than other workers with similar responsibilities
Sometimes it can be challenging to tell what is a genuine change for the needs of the business and what is retaliation. It is essential to keep track of communications and any changes after making a report.
It’s still retaliation
Unfortunately, some employers believe that these more subtle methods of retaliation are acceptable since they are not the more abusive methods used in the past. Subtle retaliation is one way employers make the workplace so uncomfortable that you leave the job.
Subtle retaliation is still retaliation. Documenting your experiences and talking to a skilled professional about your situation is important.