Aerial view of Manhattan skyline at sunset, New York City


An employer may not retaliate against an employee for opposing discrimination in the workplace. Opposing discrimination means communicating explicitly or implicitly their opposition to perceived employment discrimination, even where there is no discrimination if the employee has a reasonable good faith belief that the conduct is unlawful. An employer may not retaliate against an employee for filing a charge of discrimination or lawsuit, participating in an investigation or proceeding, or assisting as a witness for someone else who has filed a charge or lawsuit alleging discrimination. 

Retaliation includes an employer taking a "materially adverse action" against the employee. It is not limited to firing an employee or cutting their pay. Retaliation includes any conduct that might deter a reasonable person from making a complaint about discrimination. 

In most cases brought under federal law, the employee must be able to show that the opposition to discrimination or participation in a proceeding concerning discrimination was the "but for" reason for the adverse action. Retaliation does not need to be the sole reason for the adverse action, but it must have been a cause of the bad act.  

E-mail your question about Retaliation

You may call or fax if you prefer:
Friedman & Houlding LLP
Representing Victims of Racial Discrimination for More Than 15 Years
Phone: 888-369-1119 Fax: 866-731-5553

- All correspondence strictly confidential -