Workplace Retaliation

Summary

When an employee accuses a supervisor or the organization of misconduct, the supervisor may find it difficult to treat the employee impartially. But taking adverse action against an employee who has made a good-faith complaint makes the organization vulnerable to claims of retaliation — even if the underlying complaint was without merit.

Employee retaliation claims are surging. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation claims more than tripled between 1992 and 2009. In 2010, retaliation surpassed race as the type of complaint most often filed with the EEOC. Retaliation claims now make up more than one-third of all EEOC complaints, and the EEOC has indicated that pursuing retaliation claims is its top priority.

Some employment experts say that retaliation claims are the number-one risk that employers face. Retaliation claims can be difficult to defend in court, and the jury verdicts and settlements for retaliation claims can reach seven figures or beyond. For these reasons, supervisors need to understand what retaliation is and how to avoid it while carrying out their managerial responsibilities.

© WeComply/Thomson Reuters

Key Resources

For your convenience, ACC has compiled the following key resources to assist you in your compliance efforts.

For more try searching ACC's online library for "whistleblowing retaliation"

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