What are the key components of a retaliation policy?

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

A retaliation policy should include the following:

  • An explicit prohibition against retaliation;
  • Clear definitions of retaliation, including what constitutes an adverse employment action and practical examples of retaliation;
  • Comprehensive and effective complaint and reporting mechanisms, including encouragement to report retaliation through the appropriate channels and an outline of the employer's investigation procedures;
  • Procedures to promote confidentiality to the extent possible;
  • Broad disciplinary provisions; and
  • Employee acknowledgement. An employer should require all employees to separately acknowledge receipt and review and consent to the retaliation policy, as well as acknowledge the reporting structure.