Federal discrimination statutes contain provisions to protect employees who raise good faith concerns
about discrimination, as well as those who support other victims of discrimination.
Retaliation protections are important because they protect individuals even if they were not actually victims,
as well as those who were not sufficiently harmed to warrant bringing a discrimination claim.
An employee need not prove that the discrimination about which he or she complained (or supported a complaint)
was a violation of the law. All an employee need show is that he or she reasonably believed that the
actions were a violation of the law. Retaliation protections can apply to internal grievances as well
as to claims made in court or to federal agencies. If an employee makes or supports a complaint about
which he or she reasonably believed involved a claim of unlawful discrimination and the employer takes an
adverse action against the employee, then the employer may be liable for retaliation.
Retaliation protections apply to a broad number of workplace issues beyond discrimination provisions.
The test for whether an employer’s actions are covered under the retaliation provisions is whether
they would dissuade or discourage a reasonable employee from making or supporting a claim of harassment.
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advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual
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