California employers know that retaliation charges can pose a serious risk. It is not only illegal, but it can cause significant harm.
Despite this common knowledge, employers must be aware that they can never overlook the threat of retaliation – especially as it seems that this risk is on the rise in the workplace.
Employer retaliation still on the rise
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that cases of retaliation are still increasing at a significant rate over the years. In 2020, retaliation claims made up 55.8% of all the charges filed with the EEOC – more than half of all the claims.
The reasons behind this increase vary widely. However, one reason for the high numbers is likely that employees are more willing to speak out about discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Many social and workplace movements have contributed to this.
Even so, it is up to employers to stop retaliation.
Active steps are necessary to stop retaliation
When dealing with employee complaints, employers should do everything in their power to avoid and prevent retaliation. We have discussed the importance of this in previous blog posts. Unfortunately, creating and implementing an anti-retaliation policy is not enough to stop it from occurring.
Employers must play active roles in preventing retaliation. While they must make sure both employees and leadership understand the business’ policy towards retaliation, employers must also:
- Regularly review the reporting process and make sure it is employee-friendly
- Include practices against retaliation in leadership training efforts
- Carefully evaluate employment decisions for any risk factors of retaliation
Retaliation may be one of the most common charges filed with the EEOC, but that does not mean California employers simply have to accept that fact. Therefore, employers must be diligent when handling any kind of complaint. As the front line against retaliation incidents – and the ensuing consequences – they must be mindful.