If an employee files a harassment or discrimination complaint, it is your job as an employer to address the problem and try to resolve it as soon as possible. You are required to deal with a complainant properly, even if you feel that his allegations are false, because you may be accused of retaliation if you failed to do so.


You may be sued for retaliation if you perform an adverse action against an employee after he filed a complaint against you, a supervisor, or co-employee. In addition, you might also be accused of it if you perform unjust actions towards other employees who have taken part in an investigation that was triggered by such complaint.


Facing a retaliation case may damage your reputation to your employees and clients so it is advisable that you take necessary steps in order to prevent this unlawful action from happening in the workplace.


Here are some tips that you can follow in order to avoid facing a retaliation suit:


  • Enforce an anti-retaliation policy- It is advisable that you include an anti-retaliation policy in the employee handbook so that everyone will know that you do not tolerate such action in the workplace. This policy should cover the following:


o   A clear definition of retaliation and examples of actions which constitute it

o   Punishment that will be given to supervisors and managers if they retaliated against their subordinates

o   Procedures that should be followed when filing a retaliation complaint with the Human Resources (HR) department


  • Be careful when dealing with a complainant- You should not perform actions which will make the complainant feel that he is being punished, even if you have a good reason for doing them. For example, you transferred the complainant to a new department because you believe that his skills are needed there. However, he might accuse you of retaliation if he feels that you have done it in order to punish him.


  • Avoid revealing information gathered in an investigation to outside parties- When investigating a complaint, make sure that all the details that you will obtain during the process will be kept between the involved parties. Revealing information to outside parties will increase the chances that the complainant will suffer from retaliation, especially if he alleges that a high-ranking employee is guilty of harassment or discrimination.


If you want to know more about retaliation cases, you can call a Los Angeles employment lawyer.