“What is Retaliation?” and More Questions Answered by EEOC about the Most Frequently Alleged Basis of Discrimination

September 7, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on August 25, 2016, released its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. The guidance, which will replace the section on retaliation from EEOC's 1998 compliance manual, also addresses the "interference" provision under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that prohibits coercion and threats that interfere with ADA rights. The final guidance reflects EEOC's consideration of feedback received from more than 60 organizations and individuals after it published its proposed guidance in January 2016. The guidance addresses retaliation under each statute enforced by EEOC, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title V of the ADA, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Equal Pay Act, and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Topics include the scope of activity protected under the law; legal analysis to determine whether evidence supports a retaliation claim; remedies for dealing with retaliation; rules against interference with rights associated with ADA; and detailed examples of actions taken by employers that may constitute retaliation.

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