An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability, as well as wage differences between men and women performing substantially equal work, also prohibit employer retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding.
Employer retaliation can come in a wide variety of forms, but generally it includes any action taken against an employee because the employee has filed an internal complaint or filed a lawsuit.
There are three main terms that are used to describe retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity.
Some of the most common examples of employer retaliation :
wrongfully terminating employment
refusing to grant an earned promotion
unjustifiably reducing the number of hours an employee may work
reassigning the employee to a lesser position
evaluating the employee more harshly than others, and
creating an uncomfortable or hostile work environment.