• Mike Burke

If you’re a manager of employees and don’t know the Equal Employee Opportunity Commission Laws (EEOC) you might be stalling, shortening, or even ending your management career.

I know, I know this is boring stuff!

The amount of painfully dull “compliance training” sessions I’ve attended could fill a book.

But here is the thing, I’ve seen managers that didn’t follow the rules lose their job.

Make no mistake, if you violate an EEOC law and are brought to court, your company will defend their rights, not yours.

They will show the court the exact training that you took either in person, Zoom, or by computer.

You know the ones with the cartoon figures.

You will hear, “sorry your honor but as you can see (insert your name here) had ample training.”

In this and future posts, I am going to talk about three EEOC violations managers may be committing but do not know it.

Today we will focus on retaliation.

“Retaliation,” doesn’t that sound scary?

You would never be charged with retaliation, right?

Sally’s Story:

Sally was a customer service manager for a big company.

Joe came to Sally’s office and claimed he was getting paid less than others in his group with less experience.

Sally told Joe that is not the case and ended the conversation.

A couple days later Sally overheard Joe ask Karen how much she makes per hour.

Karen uncomfortably tells Joe, “Nineteen dollars an hour.”

Joe screams, “I knew it!”

Later that day Sally pulls Joe into her office, closes the door, and tells him that the company has strict rules about asking for and sharing wage information.

The following day Sally gives Joe a verbal warning in writing.

No big deal right?

Wrong, first there is no law Joe was breaking, and if the company has one, they are breaking EEOC law.

Joe decided to file an EEOC charge of Retaliation against Sally and the company later that day.

When Sally’s boss asked her why she told Joe the company has a rule about sharing salary information Sally said, “well that’s what I was told.”

Her boss asked, “Who told you that?”

Sally responded, “I can’t remember.”

In the following months Sally was interrogated by Human Resources and by the companies the legal department.

The company settled with Joe for a hefty sum of money.

The company used Sally’s situation as an example of how not to retaliate against employees.

Sally’s was forever remembered as the one who broke the EEOC law, and since her career options were limited at her company, she left and found another job.

This is just one example of retaliation, there’s ton’s more which we’ll discuss in following conversations.

To learn more about retaliation, visit the EEOC web page on Retaliation at this web address:

In the next installment we’ll explore what the EEOC considers Harassment.

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