What is Retaliation?
The law encourages employees to assert their right to freedom from employment discrimination, and to support other employees who assert those rights when they believe that they have been discriminated against in the workplace. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against, by taking a negative action against, employees who have complained of discrimination or supported a co-worker who complained of employment discrimination.
Retaliation can occur when an employer takes any negative action (including demotion, verbal/written warnings, changing the conditions of employment, termination) against an employee after the employee has complained of underlying discrimination. For example, an employee with a history of good job performance who receives a negative performance evaluation shortly after complaining of discrimination could have a claim for retaliation. It is important in order to establish a retaliation claim that the employee’s claim of employment discrimination be in writing whenever possible.