Employment retaliation claims are on the rise, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC reports that, in 2011, retaliation claims accounted for 37.4 percent of all charges filed with the EEOC, amounting to a total of 37,334 charges. This number represents an increase of more than 72 percent since 2000, when the total number of retaliation claims was 21,613.
What Is Employee Retaliation?
Employees are protected from discrimination in the workplace through various federal and state laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. These laws, not only prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, disabilities, and age, but they also prohibit employers from firing, demoting, harassing or otherwise retaliating against an employee or applicant who files a charge of discrimination or participates in a discrimination lawsuit or investigation.