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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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Warn bosses about adverse action after bias complaint

Once an employee’s discrimination lawsuit gets to court, anything can happen. In fact, it’s common for employees to lose on their initial discrimination or harassment claims but still win an associated retaliation claim. That’s why you must train managers that any adverse action—even as minor as a schedule change—can be interpreted as retaliation if it comes after an employee has complained about bias or harassment

NLRB flexes muscle with reinstatement order

The National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the National Labor Relations Act, is aggressively pursuing reinstatement as a remedy when it finds an employer has committed an unfair labor practice. That means more employers these days may have to take back workers they already fired. Ordering an employee’s reinstatement is an unusual step, but it could become more common.

Snapshot: Retaliation nation

The number of EEOC complaints alleging retaliation has increased by almost 20 percentage points in 10 years.

Abide by all OSHA rules regarding sick, tired drivers

OSHA enforces the whistleblower protections written into the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. The law says drivers who file OSHA complaints alleging employer violations of safety rules may be entitled to damages. Recently, OSHA ordered damages for drivers who reported being forced to drive while sick or tired.

EEOC charges drop again, sink to 24-year low

EEOC discrimination charges fell again in fiscal year 2021, continuing a 10-year decline. With 61,331 charges filed, FY 2021 saw about 6,000 fewer complaints alleging some form of bias, retaliation or harassment than in FY 2020.

DOL issues resources to arm whistleblowers alleging retaliation

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has launched a series of online publications designed to “uphold the rights of workers to identify violations of the law without fear of termination or other threats to their reputation, safety or livelihood.”

DOL: That guy you just fired might be a whistleblower

OSHA has a litigation unit devoted solely to enforcing 20 different whistleblower laws that fall under the Department of Labor’s jurisdiction. Here’s an example of the kind of case this unit handles.

Refusing to hire a litigious applicant: Is that retaliation?

Brian Flores, the fired coach of the Miami Dolphins, has turned himself toxic by filing a lawsuit alleging systemic racial discrimination, fraud and bribery. Yet any team refusing to hire Flores now because he sued over the NFL’s discriminatory hiring practice would likely be committing unlawful retaliation.

Paying with 91,500 pennies draws DOL’s attention—and more charges

A Georgia business owner is being sued for retaliation after delivering a former employee’s final pay in the form of 91,500 oil-covered pennies dumped in the man’s driveway.

Offer paid suspension while you investigate allegations

When employees are accused of serious misconduct, consider suspending them with pay. It’s a way to keep alleged bad actors from doing further damage while discouraging them from suing for discrimination and retaliation.