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EEOC takes broader view on retaliation than do the courts

When New York employees file a discrimination complaint or engages in another legally protected activity, their employers are prohibited from retaliating against him or her for doing so. Retaliation includes any adverse action that an employer takes in reaction to the person's engaging in the activity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has updated its guidelines about retaliation.

According to the EEOC, retaliation includes any adverse action, including actions that do not adversely impact the person's job. The EEOC considers employers that make negative comments about employees to the media as retaliatory even if the worker is allowed to continue working. In addition, traditional retaliatory actions include such things as firings, demotions and other actions that materially affect the person's job or work conditions

.The guidelines also indicate that employees are protected from retaliation after they file complaints even if those complaints are not valid. Many courts are stricter, saying that frivolous claims are not protected and that retaliatory actions are only those that adversely impact the person's job or working conditions.

When people feel that their employee rights have been violated, they might want to discuss what happened with employment law attorneys. Legal counsel may review what occurred and advise the employee about whether or not what happened was a prohibited action by the employer. If it appears that the employer engaged in discrimination or retaliation, the attorney may help the client with gathering the documentary evidence to support the client's position. The next step may be to file a formal claim with the EEOC or appropriate state agency.

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