According to charge statistics maintained by the EEOC, retaliation charges accounted for more than 37 percent of all charges filed with the agency in FY2011, totaling more than 37,300 charges. Retaliation charges accounted for the largest percent of charges filed with the EEOC (race discrimination was second, totaling approximately 35,300 charges).Retaliation charges are so popular because employees who bring retaliation charges have a higher degree of success than those that bring a regular discrimination charge. First, there is a lower standard of harm that must be proven for a successful retaliation lawsuit thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court case, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad v. White (2006). Even though a discrimination plaintiff has to prove that he or she suffered a "materially adverse employment action," a retaliation plaintiff only needs show that the employer undertook some conduct that may dissuade him or her from making or supporting a charge. Second, juries inherently distrust employers; retaliation (versus discrimination) "makes sense."
However, there are some proactive steps an employer can take that may help increase the odds of avoiding retaliation charges:
Clear and Unambiguous Policy
Retaliation is not permitted Describes the parameters of inappropriate conduct...