Workplace Retaliation - Harassment With a Vengeance
Welcome to the Workplace Answers Harassment and Diversity Compliance
Newsletter. This week, we're sharing news about the very important,
but often misunderstood topic of workplace retaliation. Retaliation
is often more costly, insidious and harmful to organizations than the
original harassment complaints from which they result. Here are some
tips on protecting your teams from retaliation in the workplace.
transitive verb : to repay (as an injury) in kind; to return like for
like; especially to get revenge
Know the Trends:
1. In October 2009 a Salt Lake City car dealership, agreed to pay a
settlement of $455,000 in damages to 5 women employees who
suffered sexual harassment and retaliation by multiple salesmen
and sales managers over a period of years, even though the salesmen
and managers were no longer with the company at the time of the settlement.
In addition the cash settlement, the dealership agreed to issue formal
apologies to the women and to provide training and other relief aimed at
educating its employees about sexual harassment, retaliation and
their rights under Title VII.
2. In November 2009 a Philadelphia utility contractor, under a two
year EEOC consent decree agreed to pay $200,000 in damages and relief
to 5 female employees who were subject to sex discrimination and
retaliation. The employees, who were denied higher-paying positions due to their
sex, were victims to reduced work hours and reduction in work
assignments in retaliation for complaints. In addition to paying
$200,000, the company must provide annual training for all managers
and supervisors regarding employee rights and employer responsibility
under Title VII.
3. In 2009, with only 9.8% of the 30,641 harassment cases settled,
$80.5 million was awarded in monetary benefits against employers. In
2009, 36% of the total discrimination charges filed included a claim
of employer retaliation, climbing steadily from 20.2% in 1997, to
27.1% in 2000 and 28.6% in 2004.
Contact Us to learn more about how Workplace Answers can help you
prevent Workplace Retaliation.
Know your Risks
1. What is unlawful Workplace Retaliation? The U.S. Supreme Court
ruling in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White (2006)
a definition of retaliation that includes any employer action that
could discourage a reasonable employee from making or supporting a
charge of harassment or discrimination.
2. What is unlawful Workplace Discrimination? Unlawful workplace
discrimination occurs when an employer takes adverse action against
an employee or prospective employee because of Ancestry, Age, Color,
Disability, Family Leave, Marital Status, Medical Condition,
National Origin, Race, Religion, Sex and/or Sexual Orientation.
Don’t Retaliate, Mitigate
Top 5 Tips To Prevent Workplace Retaliation
#5 Create internal policies that align with Federal and Local
Harassment and Retaliation Laws
#4 Update your Employee Handbook with policies for company-wide
#3 Create a safe vehicle for incident reporting and feedback
#2 Enforce policies through accountability and corrective actions
#1 Train all employees in recognizing, preventing and reporting
prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.