EEOC Opens Retaliation Guidance to Public Input

It’s not every day that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requests public input on an enforcement guidance.

But the commission has taken that unusual step for its draft guidance on retaliation and related issues under federal employment discrimination laws.

Why the push for public input? According to yesterday’s announcement, the Commission’s last guidance update on the subject of retaliation was issued in 1998. Since that time the Supreme Court and lower courts have issued numerous significant rulings regarding retaliation under employment discrimination laws.

And over that nearly two-decade timeframe, the number of retaliation charges has gone way up.

The percentage of retaliation charges has roughly doubled since 1998, making retaliation the most frequently alleged type of violation raised with EEOC. Nearly 43 percent of all private sector charges filed in fiscal year 2014 included retaliation claims. In the federal sector, retaliation has been the most frequently alleged basis since 2008, and retaliation violations comprised 53 percent of all violations found in the federal sector in fiscal year 2015.

The percentage of retaliation charges has roughly doubled since 1998, making retaliation the most frequently alleged type of violation raised with EEOC. Nearly 43 percent of all private sector charges filed in fiscal year 2014 included retaliation claims. In the federal sector, retaliation has been the most frequently alleged basis since 2008, and retaliation violations comprised 53 percent of all violations found in the federal sector in fiscal year 2015.

The draft guidance is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EEOC-2016-0001.

The 30-day input period ends on February 24, 2016. EEOC wants input in narrative form rather than submitting redlined versions of the document. The public is invited to submit its input using www.regulations.gov in letter, email, or memoranda format. Alternatively, hard copies may be mailed to Public Input, EEOC, Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507.

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