April 27, 2017

Here is another excerpt from my recently published book “How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer”:

Many employees feel it is too risky to report inappropriate conduct involving their superiors to higher authorities, as was the case with many of my coworkers at the center. However, I firmly believe that officially disclosing your concerns in good faith is essential to protecting your rights in the long run and potentially building a case against your employer. After all, how was the unemployment law judge in my case able to correctly determine, over the telephone mind you, that I had been fired as a form of retaliation for my whistle-blowing activities? It is because there was a long line of documented concerns made by me to management, to the board of directors and to my employee union; all leading up to my wrongful termination. With a documented history of reported concerns, it becomes easier for the DHR or a judge or a lawyer to see how you were indeed a victim of retaliation. Once this pattern can be clearly established, the likelihood of prevailing and/or receiving a settlement naturally increases for you.

Along these lines, it is essential for you to disclose misconduct to your employer that may be either discriminatory and/or sexually offensive in nature. Remember, employers are not to punish or terminate you in response to your disclosing what you honestly perceive, in good faith, to be unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment occurring at the workplace. There are legal consequences for such improper actions. Even if the negative conduct you alleged is later found to have not actually consisted of discrimination and/or sexual harassment, it is still illegal for your employer to wrongfully punish or terminate you for disclosing your potential concerns of this nature. I believe this played a major role in my DHR claims against my employer. After all, nobody can dispute the fact that I was indeed fired exactly one week after I disclosed what I still believed to be gender discrimination toward me by both Hilda and Samantha Jackson. Had the center not wisely opted to settle with me during mediation, I am confident that the DHR would have found ‘probable cause’ at least in the form of retaliation for my disclosing perceived discrimination to my employer. Obviously, the center had realized that at some point in this process.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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