Going to work every day is hard enough without having to worry about sexual harassment. Still, this type of behavior is not exactly rare in the workplace. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of women have been victim to some type of sexual harassment.
If you face sexual harassment at work, you have a right to complain without facing retaliation. Sometimes, though, employers do not follow the law. While termination of employment is a clear sign of retaliation, other forms of this misconduct are subtler. Here are three of them:
You likely must work with colleagues, managers, suppliers, customers and others to complete your job tasks. Unfortunately, a retaliating boss may isolate you from important contacts. This tactic may be formal, where your manager isolates you in the office, or informal, where he or she excludes you from outside activities. Either way, isolation may eventually take a toll on your professional life.
Your boss enjoys wide latitude to staff the workplace as he or she sees fit. Still, if your employer modifies your work duties, moves you to an unideal shift or makes other changes, retaliation may be the real motivator. This is particularly true if your employer offers no rationale for the change.
Clearly, if your boss refuses to offer you a promotion after you file a sexual harassment complaint, retaliation is probably the reason. Nonetheless, your boss may stop offering you other employment opportunities, as well. For example, your manager may refuse to allow you to attend professional training or enrichment programs.
Retaliation following a sexual harassment complaint violates both federal and state law. Unfortunately, because retaliation can be subtle, you may not realize immediately that you have become the victim of it. By watching for less clear signs that your employer may be retaliating against you, you can better assert your rights and protect your professional career.