Human capital risk update: Retaliation claims jeopardize organizations

According to John Hyman of Workforce Magazine, retaliation claims are “the most dangerous claims that employers face.” Hyman’s remarks reflect, in part, the frequency of such claims: in 2014 alone, 37,955 retaliation claims were filed with the EEOC, representing 42.8% of all claims made that year.

When a complaint is made, an organization has a responsibility to undertake a thorough workplace investigation. The process provides an opportunity for the organization to not only gather the requisite facts but also reinforce the alleged offender’s understanding that retaliation must be avoided.

By providing their employees with the appropriate education, organizations can diminish the risk of retaliation claims. Resources such as diversity training can foster a culture of respect and civility for other people that reduces the likelihood of discrimination occurring in the first place. Comprehensive harassment training is another critical tool that conveys to employees what constitutes retaliation and the prohibitions against it.