Office Coach: Bad reviews could be retaliation
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Question:A few months ago, I went to human resources and made a formal sexual harassment complaint about my manager, which resulted in his termination. His replacement is a competent, experienced woman who initially seemed empathic and approachable. Unfortunately, that impression was incorrect.
My new manager recently informed me that both her boss and the HR director have expressed concerns about my job performance. When I told her that I had received the highest possible rating on my last six performance reviews, she replied that management's perception had changed and that I would be watched very closely in the future.
Now I feel as though I have to document everything I do, which is extremely stressful. I have begun using the time clock to punch in and out, just to be sure my work hours are recorded. I have also started keeping a log of every task that I complete.
I'm sure this threat originated with the HR director, because he was not pleased when I followed through with my sexual harassment claim. He told me not to discuss that issue with anyone, so now I don't know where to turn.
Answer: Retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint is against the law, so the logical place to seek help and advice would be the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This implied threat to your employment appears to be an obvious attempt to retaliate. If your HR manager is in on the scheme, then your only recourse is to find an external source of assistance.
The EEOC can review your legal options and help you decide whether to file a formal charge against your company. In the meantime, continue to document your activities and consider starting a job search, because you may never again feel comfortable in this apparently hostile environment.
First Published July 1, 2012 12:00 am