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EEOC reports dramatic rise in workplace retaliation complaints

San Diego workers who have had to inform a boss or human resources personnel about an incident of workplace discrimination or harassment might have felt very uncomfortable doing so. Workers don't want their supervisors to think that they are overreacting, but employees also need to make sure that they do report incidents of harassment and discrimination because things might only get worse.

Unfortunately, employees might still encounter more problems, even when they do file workplace complaints with their supervisors about another employee's actions or behaviors. Supervisors might not handle complaints appropriately. In some cases, supervisors might even blame the worker for causing problems. When a worker is suddenly treated differently, demoted, or fired after filing a complaint about harassment or discrimination, the worker might be a victim of supervisory retaliation. This type of retaliation in the workplace is illegal and should not be tolerated.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that supervisory retaliation has become a significant problem in many workplaces in California and throughout the entire country. Last year, 36,344 retaliation claims were filed by employees with the EEOC. The EEOC says that the number of retaliation claims have doubled over the last 14 years.

Some believe that retaliation claims have doubled as a result of employees having better knowledge of their rights and feeling more encouraged to protect their rights.

If you or a loved one have raised concerns about workplace discrimination or harassment and your employer failed to address the situation or started treating you differently for doing so, you may want to consider working with an attorney in order to learn more about your rights as an employee. You may be able to file a claim against your employer if your employer retaliated against you for trying to make your workplace a better environment for you and other workers.

Source: Business Insurance, "Supervisory retaliation is growing liability for employers," Judy Greenwald, Aug. 5, 2012