SHRM Responds to Commission’s Proposed Guidance Changes on Retaliation

Mar 4, 2016

On Feb. 24, SHRM submitted comments to the EEOC on its proposed changes to revised guidance on retaliation, which was last updated in 1998. Retaliation is the most frequent violation reported to EEOC, comprising nearly 43 percent of private-sector charges in FY 2014.

SHRM’s comment commends the EEOC for issuing guidance to help both employers and employees understand the law but cautions that the guidance, in some instances, goes too far in setting standards where the case law is not settled. For example, the draft guidance broadly interprets the kind of activities that protect an employee from retaliation and broadly interprets which employees can engage in protected activity to include managers and employees reporting complaints of discrimination as part of their job duties.

The guidance also highlights some of the workplace practices identified in testimony provided by SHRM member Sharon Sellers (2015 South Carolina State Council Director and A-Team member) at the commission’s June 17, 2015, meeting, "Retaliation in the Workplace: Causes, Remedies, and Strategies for Prevention."

The EEOC has indicated that it will review public input and consider revisions before posting final guidance on its website.

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