Avoiding Retaliation Claims

06.03.15Baylee Olsen

Retaliation is now the most common charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), overtaking all other types of complaints filed with the commission, and accounting for 42.2 % of all EEOC cases in 2014.

With all that in mind, here is a 10-step prevention plan for employers:

・ Have a clear and unambiguous written policy forbidding any kind of retaliation by anyone, including managers and other employees.

・ Conduct periodically refresher training for managers and supervisors regarding retaliation (and harassment and discrimination).

・ Train managers on what actions are protected from retaliation and what could be considered an “adverse employment action.”

・ Have an “open door” policy for employees to report problems.

・ Establish a protocol for investigating charges of retaliation.

・ Conduct investigations promptly.

・ Keep in mind that any other employees who assist in an investigation are also protected under anti-retaliation laws.

・ Take effective remedial action.

・ Communicate the results of the investigation to the employee at issue.

・ Make sure that nothing you do dissuades employees from coming forward with complaints that they believe may be legitimate.

With a little forward thinking, retaliation claims can be avoided.