Did you know that retaliation is the most common type of claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)? According to the EEOC, more than half of all charges filed in fiscal 2021 were retaliation based. Taking steps to ensure that best practices and policies are administered is the best way to alleviate these claims. It also ensures that protected activity does not suffer consequences. Let’s look at some focus areas:


Develop and Follow Uniform Practices
Often, we see Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Policies in Employee Handbooks, but these could also be stand-alone policies. Either should include clear expectations and anti-retaliation and it should be communicated, acknowledged, and training given to all employees. Policies should include clear language, examples of retaliatory actions, how to bring forward a complaint as well as remediations steps for the actions.

In Washington State, depending on your industry, Sexual Harassment training may already be a requirement. Within that training, you want to make sure it is thorough and covers the do’s and don’ts as well as what ifs. This includes making sure that employees have the foundational understanding they need including retaliation and that supervisors receive expanded training.

Complaint Process
Companies should outline in the process how concerns are brought forward, reviewed, and investigated using clear and consistent practices. HR professionals and leadership should be trained on how to handle these situations and what steps should be taken if concerns arise.

Consistency is crucial. If you have policies and do anything other than apply them consistently you are leaving liability on the table and creating a less-than-optimal and safe environment.

Using these areas to focus on and following through with recommendations positions your business in the best place to avoid claims.


Do you have an Employee Handbook that includes a thorough policy on Anti-Harassment and Discrimination that includes retaliations? Have your employees and leadership had recent training? JB Consulting may be able to help. We work with our clients on a variety of topics including training and compliance. We also have referral partners for clients seeking legal advice. Contact us for more information. From compliance to implementing best practices, or simply answering any questions you may have, our team of consultants can help. If you are unsure and would like to speak to one of our HR experts for assistance, please Contact Us for more information. If you feel like chatting, give us a call at (800) 317-1378 x14.