Retaliation claims are on the rise and now represent almost 16% of all EEOC claims. Retaliation claims are now the easiest EEOC claim to file and one of the hardest to defend. With the average settlement of an EEOC claim now almost $475,000; HR needs to take proactive steps to protect their organization and prevent retaliation claims before they happen.
Last year the U.S. Supreme Court greatly expanded the reach of workplace retaliation claims with two key decisions that broadly interprets workplace-related anti-retaliation regulations.
The Supreme Court was very broad in the interpretation of the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII. Their decision means that workplace retaliation protection now applies to:
The Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA's) anti-retaliation provision forbids employers "to discharge ... any employee because such employee has filed any complaint" alleging a violation of the Act. The statutory term "filed any complaint" now includes both Oral Complaints and Written Complaints.
For HR Professionals, these important, expansive cases make training in retaliation prevention imperative. All employers should institute and implement an anti-retaliation training program, to be provided at least yearly, to all supervisors and employees. Such training should cover:
Workplace Answers works with organizations that are unsure how to protect themselves from retaliation and other employment lawsuits by providing a wide range of online compliance training courses.
These cases also highlight the need for comprehensive “No Retaliation” policies that cover all potential underlying grounds for retaliation, including, but not limited to:
Our Harassment and Discrimination prevention training suite will ensure that all supervisors and employees have the information they need to prevent EEOC Claims.
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