It may be tough, but supervisors must avoid the temptation to lash out when they learn that a subordinate has filed an EEOC or other discrimination claim.
Warn them that retaliation is not allowed. Tell them not to discuss the matter with the employee. Instead, let HR and the lawyers handle the problem. It isn’t worth the risk of triggering a retaliation claim.
Recent case: Will Evans, who is black, constantly found little things to complain about, usually involving alleged bias against him. When he filed a discrimination complaint, his supervisors told him, “I can’t believe you’re accusing me of being unfair to you.”
Luckily for the company, the court considering the case said that statement wasn’t strong enough to be retaliation, nor was there any evidence that Evans had been discriminated against at all. (Evans v. Florida Transportation Services, No. 6:08-CV-120, MD FL, 2009)
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