Employers may not fire, demote or engage in other acts of retaliation against employees who file charges of discrimination, participate in discrimination hearings or act in opposition of discrimination, advises the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. There are protections against retaliation built into each law that the EEOC enforces, and additional protections are offered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The three main components of retaliation laws relate to the types of adverse actions taken by employers, which workers are covered by retaliation laws and which activities are protected by these laws, according to the EEOC. Adverse actions by employers that are not allowed under retaliation laws include things such as termination, denying promotions, unjustified negative evaluations, increased surveillance, or unfounded criminal or civil charges. General snubbing or negative comments that are justified based on work performance are not considered retaliation under the law.
People are protected under retaliation laws if their complaints are based on discrimination of protected categories, such as race, gender, religion, age or disability, states the EEOC. People are also protected from retaliation based on the actions of a loved one, such that a company cannot retaliate against a wife because her husband sued his employer for discrimination. Retaliation laws protect activities such as complaining about discrimination to employers, threatening to file charges or refusing to obey discriminatory orders.