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Discrimination retaliation and adverse action

There is never a time when a person should be retaliated against at their place of employment.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are not permitted to fire, harass, demote, or retaliate against a person for reporting or opposing discrimination.

An adverse action is defined as an action a company takes in an attempt to keep a person from opposing a discriminatory practice. Some common examples of this include:

-- Employment actions, such as the denial of a promotion or benefits, refusal to hire a person, or termination.

-- Any other type of action that impacts a person's employment, such as negative evaluations, threats, and increased on the job surveillance that is not in line with company policy.

Adverse actions are not the same as annoyances, such as when a person makes a negative remark, when a coworker refuses to speak with you, or negative feedback that can be backed up by poor on the job performance.

If individuals feel they have been victims of discrimination retaliation, it is important to make note of everything that has happened, including details such as the time and place.

Just because people make a formal complaint, either with their company or the EEOC, it does not mean they are allowed to stop performing their job as expected. Instead, the workers should continue to perform each and every duty, not giving the company a reason to take action.

There is nothing simple about a claim of discrimination retaliation, but this is a situation that comes up regularly in companies of all sizes and industries.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts About Retaliation," accessed July 21, 2015

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