4 Important Reasons to Prevent Workplace Retaliation

Most employment laws that guarantee rights to individual workers also make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who enforce their rights or support others in doing so. Still, reports show that more than 20% of employees who report unlawful conduct go on to experience some form of retaliation. Retaliation claims represent a significant legal and financial risk for employers and the following are some of the reasons why preventing retaliation should be a top workplace concern.

1. Most Commonly Laid Charge with Enforcement Agencies Such as EEOC.

In 2012, 38.1% of complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) included charges of unlawful retaliation. That is greater than any other single protected ground including race (33.7%), sex (30.5%), disability (26.5%), and age (23.0%).

2. Broad (and Expanding) Scope of Anti-Retaliation Law… and Penalties for Violations 

Legislative and case developments have significantly broadened the scope of anti-retaliation protection, lowered the burden for establishing unlawful retaliation, and expanded the damages available. What’s more -- charges of retaliation can be successful even if the original complaint is found to be without merit!! 

3. The Effects of Human Nature  

It is human nature to want to strike back at someone who attacks or accuses you of wrongdoing. As a result, retaliation cases tend to be more believable in the eyes of jurors than other forms of misconduct. With higher success rates and greater potential for awarded damages, more claims end up being made.

4. Preventing Retaliation is The “Right Thing to Do” 

Preventing retaliation is the right thing to do. Employers have a moral obligation to protect employees’ rights and employee trust levels drop markedly if management tolerates retaliation.


Too often, the topic of retaliation is covered only as an add-on to training on other important employment-related issues. Taking steps to educate managers and supervisors on the scope and specific risks of unlawful retaliation is an essential component of an effective risk and compliance management program. Companies such as Syntrio, Inc. specialize in providing online anti-discrimination, harassment and retaliation training in a comprehensive yet cost-effective and time sensitive manner. Contact Syntrio today at 888-289-6670 to discuss the ways we can help your supervisors and HR professionals ensure that they are up to date with state and federal employment law training requirements.


Posted in Managing Within the Law, Retaliation and tagged , , , , , , .