The Problem

Retaliation is hard to define, but people know it when they see it or experience it.  However, the way the law defines retaliation is not necessarily what people think it is.


Some laws give an employee who complained about discrimination or some other wrong act protection from retaliation.

An employee does not have to be fired for a claim for retaliation to exist.  However, the employee does need to suffer an “adverse employment action” after making a discrimination complaint. This can include getting fired, demoted or disciplined, having a schedule changed, receiving a pay cut, or some other act that might dissuade a reasonable person from complaining about discrimination in the future.


Not every employee complaint is protected from retaliation.  Instead, a law must exist that makes the type of complaint protected. For example, complaining about race discrimination provides an employee with protection from retaliation.

But a complaint that a manager is a bully generally is not protected from retaliation.

Moving Forward

 If you believe you have been discriminated against in your employment, contact us by clicking Tell Us About Your Problem and filling out the questionnaire.