Understanding retaliation and EEO laws

On behalf of Sullivan Law Group APC posted in employee rights on Sunday, October 28, 2018.

People who work in Southern California are protected by many laws that are designed to ensure they experience a work environment free from harassment or discrimination. As explained by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are also laws in place that ban employers from taking negative actions against any person who attempts to exercise their right to a discrimination-free workplace. These laws cover not only active employees but people applying for employment with a company.

Commonly referred to as retaliation, the Houston Chronicle defines this as an action by an employer taken to essentially get revenge for something the employee did. The action generally has a negative impact on the employee’s job or career.

Examples of retaliatory acts include writing a negative performance review, laying a person off, transferring them to an undesired position or firing them. The EEO laws identify what are called protected activities meaning that employees should be allowed to engage in these actions without fear of retaliation by their employers.

Protected activities include inquiring into other employees’ compensation to identify potential inequities, intervening on the part of another person who may be experiencing harassing behavior of a sexual nature, participating in any EEO investigation against the company, or asking for some type of accommodation due to a religious belief or disability. Another protection is the employee’s right to speak with a manager about concerns of harassment or discrimination. Employees are also allowed to elect to not engage in activities that are discriminatory or harassing.