Posted On: October 21, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

EEOC Says Retaliation Claims On The Rise

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") claims including a retaliation charge rose 23% in the year ended Sept. 30, 2008. The EEOC says more than a third of all claims filed with the agency have claims involving retaliation. Claims that didn't involve retaliation rose 12% during the same period. EEOC officials cite several reasons for the increase in retaliation claims. Due to the tough economy many employees feel slighted at being laid off or fired. Additionally, many companies are firing workers who complain because there are so many workers willing to take the employees job due to the tough job market. This is one instance where the squeaky wheel doesn't get the oil but gets the boot.

Retaliation is easier to prove than discrimination involving sexual harassment, or based on other forms of discrimination especially since a 2006 Supreme Court decision adopted a broader definition of retaliation. Many times a claim filed by the EEOC will have both a discrimination claim and retaliation claim. For example, an employee who is sexually harassed at work will report the harassment and then get fired or demoted. The employee will then file a claim with the EEOC for sexual harassment and retaliation.

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