The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently issued final guidance on “Retaliation and Related Issues” to update a 1998 Compliance Manual. The update also addresses a provision under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding “interference” which prohibits coercion, threats, or other acts that interfere with the rights of an individual under the ADA. Equally as important to the final guidance are two “plain English” documents now available to the public which summarize the formal guidance document.

According to the EEOC Chair, Jenny R. Yang “Retaliation is asserted in nearly 45 percent of all charges we receive and is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination. The examples and promising practices included in the guidance are aimed at assisting all employers reduce the likelihood of retaliation.  The public input provided during the development of this guidance was valuable to the Commission in producing a document to help employers prevent retaliation and to help employees understand their rights.”

The guidance addresses topics such as:

  • The scope of employee activity protected by the law.
  • Legal analysis to be used to determine if evidence supports a claim of retaliation.
  • Remedies available for retaliation.
  • Rules against interference with the exercise of rights under the ADA.
  • Detailed examples of employer actions that may constitute retaliation.

Retaliation can occur under any of the laws enforced by the EEOC, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

Long over due, the updated guidance has taken into account many Supreme Court rulings, the scrutney of the commission and public input.

Click here to view more from the EEOC.