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Sterling Employment Law

What actions of an employer are considered retaliation?

Laws in Michigan make it illegal to discriminate against any employee. Those same laws also allow all employees to file a complaint if that they are being discriminated against at work. However, there are still instances when the employer may retaliate against the employee. In Michigan, this is also considered illegal.

If the employee files a charge or a formal complaint that alleges that discriminatory actions have occurred against that employee, or if the employee complains about those alleged actions or refuses to obey an order that can be deemed discriminatory, those actions can be referred to as opposition from the employer.

Some of the most common types of retaliation include refusing to recruit, denying benefits or promotion, demotion, suspension and wrongful discharge. However, there can also be instances of threats, negative evaluations, reprimands, harassment or some other type of adverse treatment that an employee can be subjected to. Sometimes, the retaliation may continue even after the accused person's position has been terminated because of the discriminatory behavior. This type of post-employment retaliation can interfere with the person's prospects for employment and are considered unlawful.

However, some employment laws related to retaliation can differ from state to state, which makes it important to get the right information. Since the circumstances of each person can be different, thorough knowledge of the law can help the victim of the discriminatory conduct to analyze their circumstances and confirm if their employer has retaliated against the employee or if those actions fall under the scope of retaliation.

Source: EEOC.gov, "EEOC's Directives Transmittal Number 915.003," July 22, 2008

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