How to Prevent Workplace Retaliation Claims

When employees bring complaints about discrimination or harassment, employers must ensure not to retaliate against workers for raising issues in order to avoid legal repercussions, even if the claims cannot be proven. The law protects employees to the right to work free of discrimination based on age, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex and other characteristics. Retaliation is when employers attempt to punish employees for exercising their rights to work free of discrimination.

The first step in preventing retaliation claims is understanding what constitutes retaliation. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is unlawful to retaliate against employees for the following reasons…

  • Filing or being witness to an equal employment opportunity (EEO) charge, complaint, investigation or lawsuit.
  • Discussing employment discrimination with a supervisor or manager.
  • Answering questions during an employer investigation of alleged harassment.
  • Refusing to follow directions from a supervisor that would result in discrimination.
  • Resisting sexual advances or intervening to protect others.
  • Requesting a disability or religious accommodation.
  • Asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages.

Other acts are protected as long as the employee is acting on reasonable belief that there is a violation against EEO laws. Retaliation acts include, but are not limited to, employees receiving lower evaluation merits, demotion, or changing an employees schedule that conflicts with family obligations.

Employers then need to ensure that their policies are evaluated to prevent harassment and discrimination offenses as well as retaliation. Converge HR Solutions provides your company with a premier HR team that takes care of all your HR Outsourcing, Recruiting, and Consulting needs. If your company could benefit from additional consultation regarding retaliation, harassment and discrimination, please contact us today by email at or phone at 610-296-8550. 


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