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What Constitutes Retaliation?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Retaliation

Protecting employee rights is a significant responsibility under state and federal law. However, these laws may only be as effective as the collective efforts from the involved parties, the employees, and employers. Business leaders can have a massive impact, especially when incorporating relevant provisions to the organization’s practices, such as identifying, addressing and preventing retaliation.

The law holds the position that employees must be able to exercise their rights to engage in protected activity, such as combatting workplace discrimination and harassment. It is unlawful for employers to make adverse employment decisions that qualify as retaliation, including adverse employment actions taken as a result of the following protected activity:

  • The employee affected by the decision is a witness or participant in a lawsuit, investigation or complaint.
  • The involved employee relayed information about harassment or discrimination incidents.
  • The affected employee was subject to harassment or discrimination, which they refused or reported.
  • The employee inquired about suspicions of unfair wage discrimination.
  • The employee shared information during an internal investigation associated with harassment or discrimination allegations.
  • The employee raises questions or concerns regarding wages, meal periods, rest periods, safety issues, etc.

Ideally, the organization already has internal guidelines to navigate these instances.

Developing effective employment practices

Discrimination and harassment can harm an organization overall, warranting extensive and collaborative efforts from everyone in the company. Aside from preventing and addressing incidents, employers can develop effective measures, practices and policies that comply with relevant employment laws.

Additionally, employers can seek legal guidance to create guidelines tailored to the business’s needs and operations. These initiatives may take considerable time and effort, but they can help protect employers from claims of retaliation.