Friday, March 11, 2011

Retaliation Rising!

The number of retaliation claims skyrocketed 55 percent between 2000 and 2009, from 21,613 to 33,613 claims, respectively, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2010, for the first time ever, retaliation under all statutes (36,258) surpassed race (35,890) as the most frequently filed charge, according to the EEOC. Retaliation claims currently account for 36 percent of all EEOC charges--the highest percent yet. Simply put, the number of claims have risen because the amount of retaliation is rising.

Why is this? BECAUSE RETALIATION WORKS! The problem with the laws against job discrimination is that they all require that the victim stand up and file a complaint. That makes the victim vulnerable to retaliation. As the Supreme Court finally acknowledged in Burlington Northern v Costas in 2006, there are a myriad of ways an employer can intimidate and retaliate against employees. Once this happens to a complaining employee in the workplace, all other employees run for cover. It has a "chilling effect" on the willingness of others to complain or cooperate in any investigation.


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