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3 reasons your employer might exhibit retaliatory discrimination

Retaliation in the workplace brings to mind images of an employer firing an individual for blowing the whistle on unacceptable behavior. Such retaliation is blatantly and irrefutably illegal, so some employers might attempt to retaliate through more subtle discrimination.

Retaliatory discrimination is also an unlawful act recognizable by the California Civil Rights Department. However, discriminatory behavior may be more difficult to prove than other forms of retaliation. You can protect yourself in a hostile work environment by being particularly wary when your employer might feel they have a reason to exhibit retaliatory discrimination.

1. Prior complaints

If you are among the individuals at your company who have a history of filing complaints regarding discrimination or other unjust behaviors, then your employer might hold a grudge.

2. Investigative cooperation

Even if you do not make a complaint yourself, you can still play a part in assisting the authorities with any investigations into your company’s discriminatory acts. Your employer has no right to punish you for doing so, but that might not stop a toxic individual from trying.

3. Personal feelings

If you oppose your superiors in a meeting, receive credit they want for themselves, or otherwise incur their ire through no fault of your own, they might seek to unjustly retaliate against you. Personal vendettas have no place in a professional setting and certainly do not excuse breeding an atmosphere of discrimination.

When an employer feels justified in discriminating against you, they might act to deny you new opportunities without you even realizing it. It is important to be wary of toxic behavior in the workplace so that you can proactively work to protect yourself from retaliation.