Employees who complain about alleged discrimination are protected from punishment under the so-called opposition clause of Title VII. They are said to engage in protected activity when they report harassment, discrimination or other alleged Title VII violations, or violations of other anti-discrimination laws.
When an employee files such a complaint, that should put the employer on notice that something may be wrong—something that needs to be investigated.
Instead, some employers shoot the messenger. That kind of retaliation is almost certain to make a bad legal situation worse.
Not every vague allegation, however, amounts to opposition. Neither do false, unreasonable or otherwise bogus complaints.
Here, I am going to discuss another aspect of the opposition clause that can provide additional relief to employers—the specificity of an employee’s opposition to an act of discrimination.
Two incidents, one protected
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- Use multimedia campaigns to nurture employee self-service
- South Jersey township settles age discrimination suit
- Document reason for termination to make sure courts don't second-guess your decision
- Make sure your handbook includes a disclaimer—And that employees sign it
- Don't fall into the retaliation trap: Handle 'toxic' worker's complaint with care