Prevent Workplace Retaliation Claims

Each year, numerous workplace discrimination complaints are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In 2020, retaliation was the most frequently cited claim, accounting for more than half of all charges filed.

Job applicants and employees have the right to work free from discrimination based on age, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex and other protected characteristics under federal and state laws. If an employer punishes them for any of these protected characteristics, it is considered retaliation.

The EEOC enforces laws that protect workers, whether they allege they have been discriminated against or witnessed discrimination toward others. To reduce the likelihood of a retaliation claim, employers should:

  • Evaluate policies — Ensure incentive programs don’t intentionally encourage retaliatory action, such as performance numbers that are dependent upon meeting certain criteria.
  • Create a hotline — Let employees report alleged discrimination anonymously. This allows issues to be investigated quickly with minimal disruption.
  • Take immediate action — Preserve evidence, assess if additional retaliation may occur and investigate the claim. Using thorough information, an accurate evaluation of any claim is needed.

Employers should work with human resources to identify likely retaliatory situations and take immediate preventive action.

Prepare for Severe Spring Weather

Spring brings with it increased severe weather, including potentially damaging wind, rain and tornadoes depending on the region. It is important to be prepared for severe weather ahead of a storm, especially if you want to ensure your business is operational afterward. Part of this preparedness is having a business continuity plan. Consider these basics when creating your continuity plan:

Staff. Include planning and mindfulness activities to ensure staff safety. This can include a disaster drill, basic first aid and CPR training. Engage your local law enforcement for details on how to execute a drill as well as additional safety activity ideas.

Surroundings. Are there nearby elements that may be a damaging threat during severe weather, such as fences, flagpoles and trees that could potentially become dislodged and airborne?

Systems. Review your building’s operational utility systems, which are generally located on a building’s roof.

Structure. Review the architectural and structural elements of the building, especially those that are vulnerable to damage or failure during severe weather.

Shelter. Review the best and worst areas to shelter in the event of a storm. That way, staff and customers know where they will be safe during severe weather.