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How do retaliation and adverse action correspond?

As an employee, you hope you always get along with everybody in the company. If something goes wrong, regardless of what, you may have fears of retaliation. This means that somebody, such as a company owner, takes adverse action against you for some reason.

In many cases, an adverse action comes into play when a person attempts to stop another from opposing a discriminatory practice. Some common examples of this include:

-- Any type of action that affects employment, such as an unjustified evaluation or threats.

-- Employment actions, including the refusal to hire and termination, without any grounds.

It is important to understand that there is a big difference between adverse action and a petty slight. For example, there will be times when people make negative comments. There will also be times when you may receive an evaluation you don't agree with. There is a line between adverse action and these types of slights. Knowing where this line is drawn will help you better determine if you have been a victim of retaliation.

Regardless of the circumstances, here is what you need to know: Retaliatory adverse actions are against the law. If a company partakes in such behavior, it could lead to a claim by one or more worker.

Most people understand that retaliation is unlawful. This is not something they should get involved with in the workplace. If this does happen, the victim will find him or herself in a challenging position. At that point, the person needs to understand what went wrong and how to deal with it moving forward.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts About Retaliation," accessed Oct. 27, 2015

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