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How the EEOC protects against retaliation claims

Retaliation is an incredibly common claim by employees who say they were punished or fired in retaliation for legitimate and legal acts on their part. A common example is an employee upholding his or her rights or filing a legitimate claim with human resources, and their employer found it necessary to punish or fire them. This is unacceptable and the victimized employee should seek legal help to pursue their case. This is how many wrongful termination cases begin.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits job applicants and employees from being punished simply because they upheld their rights. This can take many forms. As examples:

  • If you are a witness for an EEOC charge or allegation, then you can't be retaliated against by your employer.
  • If you communicate with or answer questions from a manager in regards to a discrimination or harassment claim at work, then you can't be retaliated against by your employer.
  • If you refuse orders that are illegal, promote discrimination or relate to sexual advances, then you can't be retaliated against by your employer.
  • If you request accommodations for religious reasons or a disability, or if you request salary information in relation to possible unfair or discriminatory wages, then you can't be retaliated against by your employer.

All of these acts by the employee are considered "participating in a compliant process," and it is against EEOC rules for an employer to retaliate against you as a result of taking such action.

Source: EEOC, "Facts About Retaliation," Accessed Jan. 11, 2017

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