Pop quiz time. What's the most common EEOC Complaint?
A Few Stone-Cold Facts About This Particular Complaint:
- This complaint was the key factor in 55.8% percent of all EEOC complaints in 2020.
- Almost 67% are ruled in the plaintiff's favor when taken to litigation.
- Over $214 million paid in 2020, alone.
Retaliation, of course. Business is business, but often employees make it personal.
What is retaliation? Quite simply, retaliation is any adverse employment action taken against an employee who complained of discrimination, harassment, or a violation of workplace law.
A successful retaliation claim includes three elements:
- The employee engaged in a "protected activity" such as reporting (or acting as a witness of) harassment or discrimination.
- The employer took an "adverse employment action" against the employee. For the record, termination is not required, meaning an active employee can bring a successful retaliation charge. Adverse action can include (among other things) giving the employee a demotion or an unwanted transfer; shouting at or ignoring the employee, or taking away or increasing duties by a significant amount; and
- A connection links the two actions.
Companies and their management must be aware that their reaction to and handling of employee complaints can make all the difference in avoiding a costly legal battle.
How to prevent a retaliation lawsuit? Aside from working with Simply to get your house in order, we'd recommend:
- Inform all employees and management that retaliation is prohibited;
- Assure employees that they protect by law when reporting a workplace issue.
- Respond to discrimination questions, concerns, and complaints promptly and effectively.
- Ensure that managers understand their responsibility to stop, address and prevent retaliation.
- Hold employees accountable for complying with and enforcing your companies discrimination rules and policies.