• The EEOC Strikes Back: Updated Guidance on Retaliation
  • February 17, 2017 | Authors: Meredith Merry Campbell; John D. Clifford; Joy C. Einstein; Gregory D. Grant; Stacey L. Schwaber
  • Law Firm: Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. - Potomac Office
  • The EEOC recently released updated guidance for retaliation claims as they relate to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Equal Pay Act, and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The new guidance addresses the intersection between these statutes and enforcement by the EEOC, including information on the scope of protected employee activity, evidence necessary to support a retaliation claim, remedies available, and specific examples of employer retaliation. Even though the guidance has not been updated since 1998, retaliation remains one of the most frequent bases of discrimination. The update came with two additional resources: a Q&A publication and a small business fact sheet (which can be found here and here). We recommend that employers review and keep this information in mind when interacting with employees.

    In addition, the EEOC has collaborated with the NLRB, DOL, OSHA, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to release a joint Fact Sheet focusing on the various anti-retaliation provisions of the workplace laws enforced by these agencies. Specifically, the Fact Sheet - "Retaliation Based on the Exercise of Workplace Rights is Unlawful" - clarifies that employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers for exercising their workplace rights, regardless of the workers' immigration status. This joint effort by the agencies responsible for enforcing workplace rights underscores the focus on ensuring that all workers are protected against retaliation for seeking to enforce their rights.