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Defending against retaliation charges

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | Business

A thriving company and company culture can be a beautiful thing to behold, but unfortunately, there are no guarantees for a spotless reputation. When an employee complaint interrupts an uplifting day, it can raise stress and worry.

One way that stress and worry can multiply is if the management for your company has decided to fire that employee, or even just shift their priorities. While the intention behind the upcoming action may be for other reasons, that intention can be very difficult to prove.  For many, taking this kind of action after an employee complaint sends a message of retaliation.

Avoiding retaliation claims

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sets strict guidelines for what is considered to be retaliation. The issue is these matters can also amount to bad timing. The proposed firing or priority shifting may have been in the works for a while. In these situations, gathering evidence to justify one’s cause can be crucial. For even if you believe you are innocent that certainly provides no guarantee that your employee won’t make assumptions and follow those assumptions with another complaint.

While it may be frustrating to see an investigation get underway into the potentially retaliatory nature of your actions, keeping a cool head in these circumstances can go a long way.

For employees who get specific treatment

Some complaints can stem from differing treatment in the workplace. And while you may hope that all employees feel comfortable, some may operate at different standards within the company (though respect certainly shouldn’t deviate). As an EEOC page pointed out certain employees may be designated higher-ups that earn stricter treatments. Being transparent with those employees as to why they are receiving different treatment can allow honest conversation, instead of seeing confusion turn to frustration. Even if an employee’s complaint does not stem from the different treatment they receive, let this serve as another reminder to communicate openly and honestly with workers. Sometimes a lack of transparency is the frustration that fuels a claim.

Retaliation claims can damage a business’s reputation and lower company morale. When it is alleged it can be wise to reach out to qualified counsel who can help you build a case.