Employees Have Strong Legal Protection against Retaliation
When an employee files a complaint about sexual harassment or discrimination against your workplace, the law provides him or her strong legal protection against any retaliatory actions against him or her by your company.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission absolutely prohibits any employer from retaliating against an employee who has complained about sexual harassment, or age/ gender/ any other type of discrimination occurring in your workplace. An employee who has filed a complaint against you to the EEOC is protected from wrongful retaliation against him or her.
In fact, if an employee has already filed a complaint alleging sexual harassment or discrimination, he or she is allowed to file another complaint claiming retaliation if you engage in any type of action that could be covered under retaliatory behavior. As an employer, it is important for you to understand what constitutes retaliation because these behaviors may not seem like retaliation to you, but could be construed as retaliatory behavior by the employee, and by the law.
Say, for example, you have an employee filing a complaint against your company alleging sexual harassment, a hostile environment or unlawful discrimination. You are prohibited from terminating him or her from the job. The employee must not be denied promotions unjustly. Be especially careful during performance evaluations. Avoid giving out negative performance evaluations or negative reviews to the employee, while the lawsuit is still pending. This could be construed as retaliatory behavior. Make sure that supervisors and managers in your office are also clear about what constitutes retaliatory behavior.
Any kind of threats that are carried out against an employee are also very likely to result in a wrongful retaliation action against your workplace. Very often, companies that find themselves embroiled in retaliation lawsuits are clearly not aware of many of the actions that could be perceived as being retaliatory in nature.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not only protect the rights of persons who want to protest against harassment or discrimination, but also protects the people making the complaint, against any retaliatory behavior.