Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Prohibitions Against Retaliation

EEO statutes prohibit a covered entity (business, etc.) from retaliating against an individual (employee) who has engaged in protected activity, which includes both participation in the EEO process (filing an EEO complaint, providing testimony in an investigation, etc.) and opposition to discrimination (complaining of discrimination at work--even if you don't use the word "discrimination", protesting against discrimination, etc.).

The prohibition against retaliation is very broad and covers more than merely discriminatory treatment with respect to terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

The anti-retaliation provisions prohibit ANY adverse treatment that is based on a retaliatory motive and is reasonably likely to deter the charging party or others from engaging in protected activity. For example, it would be retaliatory to instigate criminal theft and forgery charges against a former employee because she filed an EEOC charge.

Examples of adverse actions include:

--employment actions such as termination, refusal to hire, and denial of promotion,

--other actions affecting employment such as threats, unjustified negative evaluations, unjustified negative references, or increased surveillance, and

--any other action such as an assault or unfounded civil or criminal charges that are likely to deter reasonable people from pursuing their rights.

Adverse actions do not include petty slights and annoyances, such as stray negative comments in an otherwise positive or neutral evaluation, "snubbing" a colleague, or negative comments that are justified by an employee's poor work performance or history.

For more information on anti-retaliation provisions, a good link to check out is: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/retal.html

Source: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/threshold.html#2-II-B-2


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