Retaliation

What is retaliation?

What is retaliation?

Retaliation is defined in Administrative Policy: Reporting Suspected Misconduct as:

Taking an adverse action against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in reporting suspected or alleged misconduct, expressing opposition to alleged misconduct, participating in an investigation related to a misconduct allegation, or accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution services. A causal relationship between good faith participation in reporting and an adverse action is needed to demonstrate that retaliation has occurred.

What are examples of retaliatory behaviors?

What are examples of retaliatory behaviors?

Retaliatory behaviors can include but are not limited to:

  • Denial of promotions or denial of salary raises
  • Being moved to a different department
  • Demotion
  • Not being allowed to work on certain projects
  • False reports of employee conduct
  • Employment termination
  • Co-worker backstabbing and gossip
  • Physical harm

What is an example of retaliation?

What is an example of retaliation?

Julie, a student at a local university, began taking an art class. She enjoyed the class very much and always did very well on assignments. She was able to talk to her professor freely; and he was always willing to help, and give advice. One evening Julie was leaving the art building, when she saw her professor putting materials from the art supply closet into his bag. These supplies were expensive and purchased by the department. The professor saw Julie and smiled, stating that he was just grabbing the supplies he paid for earlier that day. Julie figured that her professor had paid for them, so she did not say anything. A few weeks later Julie heard the building director say that a number of supplies were missing. Julie reported what she had seen, after which an investigation was initiated. At that time Julie’s grades started to decline substantially. Additionally, the friendly and workable relationship Julie previously shared with her professor no longer existed. Julie became worried that she would not pass the class and she did not know what she could do.

Remember, retaliation is:

  • Taking an adverse action against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in the protected activity of reporting suspected misconduct.
  • Here it appears that the professor has taken an adverse action against Julie.
  • Julie should report this behavior. An investigation of the circumstances will help determine if Julie has been a victim of retaliation.

What is an example of non-retaliation?

What is an example of non-retaliation?

Amanda works in the student services center at the local University. Students frequently contact Amanda for help with schedules, enrollment, work experience, and other common issues. Jesse, a student at the University, contacted Amanda for help with enrollment and scheduling. Jesse set up a meeting, but was 30 minutes late. In the meeting, Jesse found Amanda to be harsh and difficult to work with. Later, when Jesse needed to contact Amanda for additional help, he found she had the same attitude. These encounters made Jesse very uncomfortable. Jesse believes that Amanda’s actions are retaliatory because he was late for the first meeting.

Answer:

  • The mere existence of a contentious relationship does not necessarily mean that there is retaliation.
  • Retaliation occurs when an individual takes negative action against an another because of their participation in a good faith claim of suspected misconduct.
  • There must be a connection between the claim and the retaliatory behavior.

Who can be a victim of retaliation?

Who can be a victim of retaliation?

  • Retaliation can take many forms, and anyone can become a victim of retaliation.
  • Retaliation can effect an organization on many levels, it can:
    • Block open communication
    • Drive out good workers
    • Undermine the culture of the organization
    • Create hostile work environments
    • Diminish morale
  • Anyone can become a victim of retaliation, therefore, it is important to be alert and report good faith claims of retaliation.

What protections are in place if you suspect retaliation?

What protections are in place if you suspect retaliation?

No member of the University community may retaliate against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in:

  • reporting or otherwise expressing opposition to, suspected or alleged misconduct;
  • participating in any process designed to review or investigate suspected or alleged misconduct or non-compliance with applicable policies, rules, and laws; or
  • accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR) services.

A causal relationship between the good faith participation in one of these activities and an adverse action is needed to demonstrate that retaliation has occurred.

Individuals who believe that retaliation is occurring or has occurred, as a result of their good faith participation in one of the above referenced activities, should follow the reporting options available to them in the Administrative Policy: Reporting Suspected Misconduct.