Employees often believe they can allege retaliation anytime they complain about some form of discrimination at work. But that’s not true. To make a successful claim, they have to show that the retaliation was just that—punishment for making a complaint.
And it’s tough to pin retaliation on a supervisor who never knew about the original complaint.
That’s why it makes sense to limit access to information about employee complaints. For example, there’s no need to share an employee’s discrimination complaint with her supervisor if it doesn’t involve that supervisor or department.
Recent case: When state government employee Emily Wilson was reassigned from one facility to another, she refused to report to the new location. She was fired a month later. Then she sued, alleging she was really being punished for cooperating in another employee’s discrimination lawsuit.
But the state was able to show that the committee that made the reassignment decision had no knowledge of her earlier cooperation. Thus, it could not have used the reassignment as an excuse to punish her for participating in litigation. (Wilson v. Secretary of Agriculture, No. 10-3377, 3rd Cir., 2011)
Final note: There’s much to be said for providing a fresh start for any employee who complains about discrimination. Presumably, a new supervisor who knows nothing about earlier problems won’t be prone to retaliation. Make sure the employee agrees to the transfer as part of the underlying settlement.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/13862/prevent-retaliation-claims-by-maintaining-confidentiality-of-bias-harassment-complaints "
- Beware Discrimination Risks of Promoting 'Acting' Supervisors
- Understand how whistle-blower laws affect employers, employees
- Demanding lie detector test isn't necessarily retaliation
- Listen to this: Smith Barney to pay $33 million for sex bias
- It cuts both ways: Be on guard for religious harassment that offends nonbelievers, too