Retaliation Under Title VII
Title VII protects employees who report or bear witness to discriminatory conduct. More specifically, employers cannot retaliate by taking disciplinary action against employees for making discrimination charges, making a statement to the EEOC or administrative agency, or giving testimony in a discrimination case. Pursuant to this prohibition, employers have an affirmative duty to create an atmosphere in which a complainant and others with relevant information about alleged discrimination feel comfortable coming forward with the complaint or information.
⁃ Note: For conduct to be actionable, the employer’s adverse action against the employee must be motivated by the employee’s complaint or cooperation therewith. The employer may still take adverse actions against the employee for unrelated conduct.
⁃ Discussion: Why do you think Congress included anti-retaliation provisions in Title VII? Do you believe that these provisions are effective in preventing employer retaliation? Why or why not?
⁃ Practice Question: Mary is an employee at ABC Corp. Her colleague, Angela files a sexual harassment complaint with the EEOC against her boss, Tom. One multiple occasions, Mary witnessed Tom making inappropriate sexual advances toward Angela. Mary is worried about providing a statement to the EEOC investigator. Should Mary be worried?