Letter to Leaders & Swenson Insights

Retaliation: The New Emerging Issue for Employers

When I conduct workplace investigations, one of the things I look for is whether retaliation has taken place. It may be that there was no actual harassment – but there was retaliation.

The simplest example is when an employee is terminated shortly after making a harassment or discrimination claim. The burden is on the employer to prove he or she did not terminate because the accusations were made.

And retaliation can be much more subtle – co-workers avoiding the accuser; management moving the accuser to another office or work location.

Make sure you add a non-retaliation policy to your employee handbook. But you need to be vigilant in making sure the policy is truly in practice.

This excellent article from Shaw/Valenza illustrates some recent retaliation decisions made by the courts.

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