Thousands of employees each year submit complaints of discrimination against their employers. Although discrimination is illegal in Louisiana it still occurs quite frequently. A study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted that three out of four employees who experienced harassment or discrimination did not report it. One reason that employees may not report harassment is fear of retaliation.
Types of charges filed
Even with a high number of cases that go unreported, the EEOC reports that over 67,000 workers filed workplace discrimination claims in 2020. Retaliation claims made up over 50% of the charges filed. Discrimination based on race or gender came in second followed by age.
Protections from retaliation
The data from the EEOC shows the unfortunate reality that if an employee comes forward to report discrimination, they may face retaliation. Employees who engage in a protected activity including participating in an investigation of workplace discrimination, opposing discrimination, or reporting discrimination are protected from retaliation. This means that an employer cannot take any adverse action against these employees. This includes:
- Salary reductions
This protection extends to third party vendors, applicants, current employees, and former employees. Employees who face retaliation are entitled to monetary compensation including back wages, reinstatement to their job, compensation for emotional distress and attorney’s fees.
A legal professional who is skilled in employment law can help their client by advocating on their behalf. An attorney can advise their client on the merits of their case as well as the appropriate deadlines for filing a charge or lawsuit. This can help shield an employee from retaliation and protect their future.