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Employees are protected against retaliation from employers

There should be no discrimination against any individual on the basis of religion, race, sex, origin or disability. An employer cannot demote, terminate, retaliate or harass any person in the event that the person has filed a discrimination suit. If the person has even complained about discrimination, the employer cannot retaliate against that person.

Not only does the law protect against retaliation, employment law also protects Michigan residents from intimidation, ill-treatment, coercion and harassment. Retaliation occurs when an employment agency or an employer takes hostile action against an individual because the person is involved in a protected action.

An adverse action is one that is taken to prevent an individual from challenging a discriminatory practice. An adverse action could be termination of employment, refusing to give a promotion or refusing to employ someone. An adverse action could also be a threat, a negative evaluation that is unjustified, a negative reference that is unjustified or enhanced surveillance. A sudden assault that could prevent a person from pursuing that person's rights is also an example of retaliation or adverse action.

However, a stray comment in an otherwise positive evaluation is not an example of an adverse action. Any negative comment based on an individual's poor performance is not an example of retaliation either. According to employment law, an individual's current employer cannot prevent a person from pursuing an Equal Employment Opportunity charge against someone. Of course, an employee is expected to do the job to the best of that person's ability and has to follow the workplace rules, even if that employee has filed an EEO charge against a former employer.

Source: EEOC.gov, "Facts About Retaliation," Accessed on July 29, 2015

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