Revenge in the Workplace, a.k.a. Retaliation

Workplaces can get mighty ugly if someone is retaliating against a company or person for a perceived injustice.

Things don’t get much worse than a toxic workplace where someone is deliberately withholding necessary information on a project, spreading vile rumors about a co-worker, destroying or stealing company equipment or handing classified information over to the competition. “Why would they be doing these things in the first place? Usually as retaliation against a real or perceived injustice,” explained Ty Gomez, an experienced Dallas employment and business lawyer with the Gomez Law Group.

Most often when retaliation is the flavor of the month, it is because someone is responding to a violation of trust or violations of interpersonal justice. “Let me explain. When it comes to breach of trust, that happens when expectations about another’s behavior aren’t met or when that person doesn’t act consistently with their values. In dealing with violations of interpersonal justice, the retaliation comes because someone was not treated in a manner that they expected to be treated – this may provoke real outrage,” observed Gomez.

Interestingly enough, when someone gets fired, it isn’t the fact that they got fired that usually is the flash point. It’s the fact that they may have been humiliated if the firing was done in a thoughtless and insensitive manner. Anger plays a very large part in retaliation if the firing or other disciplinary action was not done with respect or fairness. “In fact, over 80% of homicides that take place at work are the result of people who want to get even for treatment they consider unfair or unjust,” added Gomez, a seasoned Dallas employment and business lawyer.

A wise manager will also realize they need to treat their workers with respect, provide recognition, opportunities to grow, freedom from harassment, and other intangible feedback; the silent and unspoken things that workers and their employer follow without really thinking about it. Those are often the expectations in a workplace. If the reality is different and the manager is abusive, unrealistic, sarcastic and unresponsive to concerns, retaliation becomes a distinct possibility.

“If you’re faced with this nasty situation brewing in your workplace, it’s time to figure out what to do. It may also be time to talk to an experienced Dallas employment and business lawyer about what can alleviate the situation, etc.,” suggested Gomez.

Gomez Law Group is a Dallas employment lawyer and Dallas business lawyer. To learn more, visit