Retaliation consistently ranks as the number one charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Retaliation occurs when an employee reports discrimination or some other misconduct, and then is subjected to backlash from his or her employer.
In a large number of cases, it’s common for an original discrimination charge not to be found in violation of the law. However, the retaliation allegation may still be proven. In other words, a discrimination claim that may have easily been disproven turns into a much bigger, legally troubling event.
Simply put, discrimination claims are separate from retaliation claims — an important distinction that underscores the importance of training employees in supervisory positions how to recognize and prevent retaliation and manage the risk of violations and claims.
What is Retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for reporting discrimination, harassment or other misconduct. Retaliation can come in different forms, including tangible employment actions such as firing, demotion, reassignment and negative evaluations. It can also involve more subtle actions like spreading false rumors, making threats, denying benefits or changing a work schedule to create a conflict.
In addition to protecting employees from retaliation for reporting discrimination, the law applies to other protected activities such as:
- Participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit (serving as a witness)
- Opposing discrimination (refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination)
- Communicating with a supervisor or manager about discrimination or harassment
- Resisting sexual advances or intervening to protect others
- Requesting accommodation for a disability or religious practice
Supervisors need to recognize and avoid even the appearance of retaliatory behavior toward employees who report workplace misconduct. It’s also their responsibility to ensure that non-supervisory employees do not engage in behavior that could be considered retaliation.
Online Avoiding Retaliation Training Course
Retaliation training is one of several positive steps that organizations can take to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment and to reduce the risk of retaliation incidents and claims.
Savvy Training & Consulting has partnered with Traliant to offer a 15-minute, stand-alone course that is intended for employees in supervisory roles who may deal with complaints of discrimination and harassment.
Titled “Avoiding Retaliation,” this course reinforces the importance of keeping all forms of retaliation out of the workplace and responding promptly and effectively to complaints.
The Avoiding Retaliation Training Course covers:
- What retaliation is and when and how it can occur
- The legal impact of retaliatory actions
- Guidelines for avoiding conduct that may be viewed as retaliatory
- Activities that are protected from retaliation
- Examples of retaliatory actions
- Responding to complaints
- Documenting complaints and tangible employment actions
Avoiding Retaliation is part of Traliant’s Enrichment Library of courses designed to complement its industry-leading Preventing Discrimination and Harassment training course, which covers sexual harassment, discrimination, bystander intervention, diversity and inclusion and unconscious bias.
If you’d like a free demo of the Bystander Intervention Training, contact Savvy today or use our handy Calendly link to pick a day and time that work best for you!