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Spotlighting a “silent crisis” at the workplace

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2021 | Employment Litigation

What is “alarmingly common, can cause significant damage, and is not on most organizations’ radar?”

A prominent labor law commentator answering that question prominently spotlights one narrow and specific concern that features in an outsized way in many companies all across the United States.

That is workplace retaliation, an ongoing and pressing problem in diverse work environments spanning the country. A recent national article on that topic underscores that, “Retaliation is the most common claim of workplace discrimination by far.”

No employment enterprise in Colorado or nationally is free of discord or on-the-job tensions that occasionally surface, of course. Workplace disagreements or spats that periodically arise are common at every office or worksite. Employees negotiate problems and differences and move on. Competent managers pay attention to issues surrounding their workers and take timely steps to defuse problems. Companies craft internal policies – rules, guidelines and procedures – that address conflict and formalized steps to take to reduce it.

Seemingly, that is the norm in virtually all workplaces.

Or is it?

 Survey bottom line on workplace retaliation: common, entrenched

The above-cited article highlights a comprehensive and revealing new survey on company actions taken to identify and safeguard against workplace retaliation. Centrally, it reveals a number of glaring deficiencies, including these:

  • No other form of workplace discrimination is more prevalent
  • Many companies don’t have any anti-retaliation policy at all that targeted workers can turn to for guidance and protection
  • Nearly half of employers having a policy in place do not properly train all workers regarding its intent and provisions
  • Safeguards especially lack in many companies for whistleblowers who have reported illegal conduct or other wrongdoing

Survey says: some specific findings concerning retaliation

Here are a couple research conclusions that prominently emerge from the aforementioned study:

  • Retaliation is obviously narrowly targeted in many instances, but it “can happen to anyone”
  • Notwithstanding the common perception that retaliation is most commonly authored by a direct manager, it is actually the case that unlawful conduct more often issues from other employees, including peers

Workplace retaliation is obviously a big concern for any business, with an employee complaint having the instant potential to create problems across a broad front.

In fact, employment law generally is a comparatively complex and intertwined legal sphere that demands closest scrutiny from business owners. One authoritative Colorado legal source on labor law challenges facing employers duly notes that, “Employment relationships are often complicated, and there are numerous laws and standards employers are expected to comply with.”

That is certainly true concerning issues surrounding workplace discrimination and retaliation. A proven commercial law legal team with a deep well of experience advocating for business principals in employment law matters can provide further information.