A recent report reveals that a record number of employment discrimination cases based on “unlawful retaliation” were filed last year. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), more than 38,000 charges of retaliation were filed by workers in 2013. Over the last decade, the number of retaliation claims has steadily risen. In fact, it ranks as the most commonly reported form of workplace discrimination – overtaking race discrimination.
What is retaliation?
“Unlawful retaliation” includes a broad range of activities and generally constitutes any negative employment action that employers take in response to workers complaining about race, age, gender or any other type of work place discrimination. Retaliatory actions include not hiring, firing, failing to promote and demoting employees. It also may include more subtle practices such as giving a worker less desirable shifts and transfers to inconvenient locations. The Supreme Court has defined retaliation broadly as “any action that is designed to deter a worker from complaining about employment discrimination, or acting as a witness in a co-employee’s claim of discrimination.” Further in certain situations, third parties may bring retaliation actions. For example, the court recently held that a man could sue for retaliation after he was fired following his fiancé’s accusation of sex discrimination against their mutual employer.
If you have questions about retaliation, or believe that you may have been subjected to unlawful retaliation at work, we urge you to consult with an experienced Atlanta unlawful retaliation attorney immediately to determine your next steps.
Legal experts believe that the rise in retaliation claims is due to the fact that employee’s attitudes about workplace discrimination may be evolving, and that workers are more aware of their rights.
For more information or if you believe you have been retaliated at work, contact the dedicated Georgia employee’s rights attorneys at the Buckley Law Firm, LLP for an immediate case evaluation.