How to Prevent Retaliation in the Workplace

Author: Sahara Pynes, HR Solutions Group/Training Mavens

Many federal, state and local laws addressing discrimination and harassment include provisions protecting employees who complain about discrimination and harassment from retaliation. Over the past decade, retaliation claims have risen dramatically and become much more prevalent and widespread.

While many employers take preventative measures to protect against harassment and discrimination, the issue of retaliation is equally important. Employees who engage in protected activity should be protected from retaliation. An employee's complaint or opposition to an employer's unlawful discrimination or harassment constitutes protected activity.

After an employee complains to an employer, frequently the employer fails to properly handle the complaint, and treats the employee in an adverse manner, thus giving rise to a claim for retaliation. To minimize liability for claims of retaliation, employers should take the following steps.