Prevent Retaliation in the Workplace

Key Points

  • An employer should publish and implement a policy that prohibits retaliation against employees who complain of discrimination or harassment or engage in protected conduct. This will effectively put employees on notice that retaliation is prohibited.
  • Employees should have multiple avenues to express complaints concerning retaliation.
  • An employer should provide training to all employees regarding retaliation, including what constitutes retaliation and emphasizing that such conduct is prohibited. This is critical to the implementation of a successful retaliation policy.
  • Managers and supervisors should understand that preventing retaliation is part of their job duties and must be taken seriously.
  • When an employee complains of retaliation, the employer should explain that it takes all complaints seriously, will investigate the situation and ensure the employee that the employer has a zero tolerance policy for retaliation.
  • In investigating a complaint of retaliation, the employer should gather all relevant information, conduct interviews of the complainant, the alleged wrongdoer and any witnesses, and assure the employee that any form of retaliation will not be tolerated.
  • An employer should document any efforts made to prevent retaliation.
  • All complaints should be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible. This will minimize the risk of retaliation by limiting the number of employees who are aware of the complaint.

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