The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is in place to create and enforce protections for employees. One of the standards in place is the protection of employees from retaliation from their employer. This means that in many circumstances, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against their employee.
These circumstances can vary greatly, and the protections depend on certain criteria being present in order the for them to be valid. Therefore, it is important to understand the details of the law when it comes to employer protection and apply it to your specific situation.
When is it unlawful for an employer to retaliate?
If an employee is witness to or involved in an EEOC investigation or charge, then they automatically have immunity from any retaliation from their employer.
This is also true when it comes to any type of discrimination. If an employee makes a report of any kind of discrimination of harassment taking place, or if they have resisted harassment or intervened with harassment on behalf of another person, they are also protected from retaliation.
In the same light, an employee is also protected from retaliation if they have recently made a request for alterations to their working routine or environment based on their religious requirements or disability.
Employees also reserve the right to inquire about the salaries of managers or fellow employees without fearing that they will face retaliation as a result.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully retaliated against at work, then it is important to try and identify why you believe the retaliation was illegal before taking action.
Source: EEOC, "Facts About Retaliation," accessed Feb. 16, 2018