Recently I noted a short but informative article in The Washington Post about the rapid growth of employment retaliation claims — fifth year in a row that it has overtaken all other discrimination claims. I said that employers should carefully study our many posts about retaliation!
Our Takeaway: Don’t get caught retaliating; read our post of April 10, 2013 entitled “A Refresher Course For Employers On Retaliation.”
Below, we publish some reader comments on the subject.
Geri Hernandez, an employment attorney in the Cincinnati area:
“I’m working on training podcasts on how to prevent retaliation claims in a retail environment. Anyone else trying to move the dial on these claims and if so, how are you attempting to effect change?”
Lisa Hutchin, a labor relations specialist in the Sacramento area:
“Management can get quite creative on its subtle forms of retaliation (scrutinizing expense vouchers, excluding from important meetings, badmouthing to upper management).
However, we also have to be aware of the fact that there are many folks out there who will scream retaliation when the job duties are changed (not salary), and it is perceived that these work functions are “demeaning” and “harassment” – when in fact the changes are short term and necessary to the running of the business.”
Bennett Pine, an attorney in the NYC area:
“Yes, we’ve all seen it. Employee complains to the employer about discrimination, or lodges a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. Claim has absolutely no merit. But employer then “hates” the employee. Takes action of one form or another. Employer finds him or herself with a retaliation claim that may be meritorious, even though the underlying claim is not.”
Tracy Le Duff, a law student in Zachary, LA:
“Ultimately, it is our responsibility to ensure proper training of both management and employees. Expectations need to be set and then followed up on to ensure compliance. Initial claims and more importantly, retaliation claims can be avoided when we inspect what we expect on a regular basis after setting the standard through training.”
Kimberly M. Johnson, an attorney in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area:
“This is true. It is both good and bad. Employees are standing up for themselves and using retaliation increasingly against employers, which in a good way keeps unscrupulous employers in check but on the other side has become a sword that prevents good employers even in employee-at-will states from removing chaff from the workplace.
It has become a threatening tool. Documentation is the key that will protect everyone. A good progressive document trial with facts and witnesses always wins. After all, truth in the law is only the truth you can prove.”