In 2009, retaliation claims were one of the most common types of charges filed with the EEOC. These increasingly popular and successful claims have a broad scope. Just how broad, you may wonder? In an upcoming series of blog posts, we’ll answer some specific questions in that regard.
For today, let’s assume you have a current employee who has filed an EEOC charge alleging some kind of discriminatory treatment. In the interest of a quick resolution, you’d like to settle the matter with a small monetary sum. As part of the settlement, can you ask the employee to terminate her employment?
Almost certainly not. Asking for a termination could look retaliatory. It could also be used as evidence of a retaliatory motive if, for some reason, the employee remains but is later terminated for some reason. It might seem like common sense to want to sever the employment relationship once relations have become so poor that the employer and employee have literally become adversaries. But if there is one true thing about retaliation law, it is that common sense often does not rule the day.
Check with experienced employment counsel before taking potentially adverse employment steps against someone who has filed an EEOC charge. Don’t make the mistake of many before you, being penny-wise but pound-foolish.