According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation was the most frequent claim in fiscal year 2017. Discrimination followed closely behind retaliation, including discrimination based on race, sex, disability, age, religion, and national origin. These two incidents are nearly equal in regard to frequency; however, they are not analyzed the same way. A recent case involving a FedEx employee proved that retaliation is easier to prove than discrimination.
The FedEx Case
A case involving a FedEx employee involved both discrimination and retaliation. The victim worked at FedEx for eight years, however, she faced termination after filing two reports to the EEOC. The filed reports were for gender discrimination and retaliation. FedEx claimed that the victim did not have enough evidence to prove retaliation. However, it was later proven that the victim received ostracization in the form of timed bathroom breaks and unjust discipline after she filed the report.
When analyzing the case, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claims of retaliation were easier to meet than discrimination claims because discrimination affects the victim’s terms and conditions for employment. With retaliation, however, a materially adverse action indicates that the retaliation prevents workers from filing or supporting a discrimination report, which is easier to prove.
The Difference Between Retaliation and Discrimination
Retaliation occurs when an employer takes punitive action against a worker for reporting an incident in the workplace. Incidents might include sexual assault, sexual harassment, or discrimination.
Common forms of retaliation include:
- Demoting a worker
- Giving an employee a lower performance evaluation than they deserved
- Threatening to contact authorities
- Spreading rumors about an employee
- Physically or verbally assaulting a worker
Discrimination, however, occurs when an employer does not provide an equal opportunity to an employee due to their race, sex, religion, or age, among other factors.
Common forms of workplace discrimination include:
- Promoting a man over a woman due to her parental status
- Making fun of someone for their sexual preferences
- Favoring an employee due to their sex
- Paying an employee less due to their disability
It is important to know what constitutes discrimination and retaliation to identify it in the workplace. It is not uncommon for employers to retaliate against workers who file a discrimination report. When retaliation occurs, victims should contact an employment lawyer to obtain legal counsel.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Employees Take Legal Action for Retaliation and Discrimination
If you or a loved one faced discrimination or retaliation at work, you need to contact a Cherry Hill employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that our clients obtain the best legal outcome in their case. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.