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How to avoid retaliation accusations

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL LAW - Employment Litigation

If an employee complains about a certain factor, you should respond accordingly to protect them. However, despite doing your best, if your employee disagrees with the way you handled the situation, they may accuse you of retaliation, which can have significant negative consequences for you and the business.

This guide discusses how to avoid retaliation accusations:

Treat the employee as you did before

Of course, when handling a case, an employee may have a different experience, as you need them to help with investigations. However, outside the case, you should treat them as you did before. 

And when you treat them differently, you should be able to justify the inconsistent treatment. For instance, if an employee has a case, but they have failed to complete orders, which may have led to a suspension while their colleagues received a warning, you should prove they had missed a couple of deadlines.

You should follow up and document employees’ performance even without complaints. But should one have a complaint, and you have to discipline them for performance issues, these records can protect your actions.

Explain the company’s policy

You should explain your company’s policy regarding the complaint in question to your employee. This helps them know the procedures you will take and, in turn, will know what to expect. Accordingly, they won’t mistake not meeting their expectations with retaliation. 

Respond promptly

When an employee complains about a matter, you should respond promptly. If investigations take longer than expected, inform the employee about the delay. Keeping them in the loop can eliminate the chances of them believing you are overlooking the case.

Your employee can accuse you of retaliation due to misunderstandings. If this is your experience, it may be best to get legal guidance to protect yourself.