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Workplace retaliation: what is it and why you should get an attorney involved, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the topic of workplace retaliation. As we noted, last time, those who believe they may have been subjected work workplace retaliation need to consult an experienced attorney to have their case evaluated, particularly when the retaliation has cost them their job or has put them in a worse employment position.

At the federal level, retaliation connected to workplace harassment and discrimination is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For those who have fruitlessly exhausted their employer’s internal policies for address discrimination, harassment and retaliation, the next step is to file a complaint with the EEOC. 

Filing a complaint with the EEOC, depending on the nature of the complaint and procedural matters, will trigger an investigation and appropriate agency action. The EEOC will not file an employment lawsuit in every case. In some cases, the agency may offer to settle the case, but the complainant is never required to accept a settlement offer.

Although it isn’t necessary to get an attorney involved in the complaint process, it certainly help ensure that the complainant’s rights are protected and that his or her interests are effectively represented in the process. This is especially true if the EEOC unfairly dismisses the cases or if the agency fails to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement.

Having a legal advocate is also critical if a complainant decides to file a lawsuit in federal court once the EEOC is through with its handling of the complaint. We’ll say more about this in a future post. 

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