What will happen if you report harassment in your workplace?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | employment law |

When you go to work, you have the right to do your job in an environment that is free from mistreatment and bullying. If you experience harassment while you are on the job, you can experience mental duress, emotional trauma and other effects that can impact your mental health and your ability to continue to do your job. North Carolina workers who experience harassment in their workplaces have the right to speak up, report what happened and seek justice as victims. 

You have both federal- and state-level protections against harassment at work. However, one of the things that may be holding you back from taking the appropriate steps is the fear of what could happen after you do so. Retaliation is any negative action against an employee for reporting harassment or other type of illegal activity in the workplace, and if you experience this, you do not have to suffer in silence. 

Discriminatory actions are unacceptable 

Discrimination is one of the most common ways that employees experience harassment in their workplaces. If you report harassment or mistreatment from your employer or file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you may believe that he or she is now acting in a negative way toward you. It can be hard to distinguish between illegal treatment and rude behavior, but if you are experiencing any of the following, it could be a sign that your employer is retaliating against you: 

  • Your employer passed you over for a deserved promotion or raise. 
  • You received a negative performance review despite your success and positive results. 
  • You do not get the same advancement opportunities as your co-workers. 
  • You experienced an unmerited reduction in your pay or the hours given to you. 
  • You experienced verbal abuse, inappropriate comments, unwanted physical contact or threats from your employer or co-workers. 

These are only a few of the ways that you could experience retaliation after reporting harassment at work. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee who exercised his or her rights, and you can take action against your employer for the development of a hostile work environment. It may be in your interests to seek an explanation of the legal options available to you and how you can fight for your rights as an employee after reporting any type or wrongdoing in the workplace.