Most Kentucky workers are understandably gratified – if not elated – when they get a thumbs-up from an impressed employer that hires them for a coveted position. It’s a happy connection when personal skills and proven aptitude match company requirements. The sky can seem the limit.
High hopes can be dashed at the workplace, though, when an on-the-job environment turns tense and even toxic. Not every company placement yields an ideal outcome. In fact, and as noted in one legal source spotlighting hostile work environments, some employers “purposely make work unbearable” for select individuals.
The reasons why can be many and diverse. Perhaps you are an employee who avidly cares about the well-being of fellow workers and diligently engages in union/organizing activities. That is lawful behavior, but far from universally accepted by company managers.
Or maybe it’s the case that you feel pressure and retaliation because of your due reporting of material wrongdoing in the company, such as widespread fraud in a government contract matter. So-called “whistleblower” activity is extensively safeguarded under federal and state laws, but it is also often harshly responded to by threatened and angry company principals.
Blowback can also owe to myriad other reasons. Workers are sometimes retaliated against because of their comparatively advanced age or a noted disability. And they are discriminated against because of factors ranging from their race, national origin and gender to their religion, sexual orientation and more. Notwithstanding the “protected classification” status that is accorded many personal traits/identifiers under Title VII of the seminal U.S. Civil Right Act, legions of workers still suffer overt discrimination at work.
How retaliation adversely plays out in the workplace
A hostile work environment manifests itself in many ways. Targeted employees often suffer from the following types of actions and outcomes:
- Exclusion from meetings, training sessions and other events
- Notably poor performance reports
- Job demotion and/or unenviable reassignment
- Selective singling out for public criticism and reprimands
- Harassment targeting various behaviors and traits
Wrongful termination as a retaliatory company response
There are obvious reasons for a fired company employee who has endured personally aimed workplace toxicity to promptly turn for help to a proven, empathetic and results-driven employment law attorney. Many terminations are flatly unlawful, even in “at-will” cases where companies seemingly have unbridled power.
In fact, they don’t. Workers always receive some level of legal protection, with safeguards often being materially enhanced where executed employment contracts exist.
The “facts” can easily be at issue in wrongful termination litigation. It is common for a company defendant to promote a selective spin targeting a worker’s alleged deficiencies that aims to disguise true motives.
Wrongful on-the-job termination is deeply harmful on both a personal basis and in a way that adversely impacts all employees in a workplace. It should be uniformly spotlighted and eliminated.