The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released its final numbers for 2017. According to the agency, it responded to more than 540,000 calls to its toll free number and an additional 155,000 reports to it field offices. A review of the cases that led to charges being filed with the agency shows that nearly half of them involved claims that an employer retaliated against an employee in violation of the law.
Retaliation can come in many forms. Some employees are fired after reporting harassment or discrimination. Some see their hours changed, their wages reduced or their job duties changed for the worse. It is not uncommon for a worker’s job reviews go from positive to negative right after reporting improper behavior, filing for workers’ compensation or requesting family or medical leave. In all of theses cases, the employer is engaging in unlawful retaliation for a protected activity.
Various forms of discrimination
After retaliation, the most commonly filed charges involve forms of discrimination. Race discrimination allegations were present in one-third of claims. Disability and sex discrimination claims followed closely. In many of these cases, employees found more than one basis for the unlawful actions of their employers.
Employment discrimination remains a large scale problem in the United States. Despite a number of federal and New Jersey state laws clearly delineating behaviors that employers must avoid, they continue to trample the rights of workers. If you believe your rights have been violated, you should speak to an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible. Any delay on your part could cost you the opportunity to hold your employer accountable.