Data Bank Focus: Retaliation

April 24, 2012

U.S. law forbids employers from retaliating against an employee who blows the whistle on discrimination based on age; disability; genetic information; national origin; pregnancy; race or color; religion; sex; or sexual harassment. This makes it illegal to retaliate against applicants or employees who file a charge of discrimination, complain to their employer about discrimination on the job or participate in an investigation or lawsuit related to discrimination— even if no discriminatory practices are uncovered during an investigation.

The law is clear: Retaliation is forbidden for any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits and any other term or condition of employment. Nonetheless, charges for retaliation increased steadily after 2006, hitting a high of 37,334 in 2011.

Workforce Management, April 2012, p. 19

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