Federal labor laws help workers in protected classes. Those can include their age, gender, race, national origin, religion or disability. While discrimination against these classes is illegal, not every employer plays by the rules. Some may even enable discriminatory behavior through toxic or hostile workplace cultures.
When employees face discrimination, reporting it to management doesn’t mean it always stops. And in some cases, management may even see this as a reason to retaliate.
Managers aren’t always the only ones who push back
Retaliation can come from an employee’s manager, or even their coworkers. For instance, an employee may still hear comments about his or her age. In some cases, such discrimination intersects with race or gender. In hostile environments like this, it can be much more difficult for employees to remain productive.
Reporting discrimination may even lead to wrongful termination
In one case, a 79-year-old flight attendant sued her employer after she claims her coworkers harassed her because of her age. According to a report, the flight attendant brought the issue to her supervisor. Sadly, she received poor performance reviews as an act of retaliation. After getting suspended, she ultimately got fired from the airline she served for nearly 50 years.
All workers deserve dignity and respect
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women over the age of 45 could make up nearly 46% of the workforce by 2024. When age and gender discrimination intersect, a retaliatory termination complicates the issues. A terminated employee may require a legal action to obtain justice.