Monday, October 5, 2009
The Wall Street Journal has a recent piece on EEOC retaliation filings. A familiar story to most readers: like other employment claims, they're up. And retaliation remains a significant portion of employment discrimination claims. As the WSJ's graph shows, retaliation claims enjoyed a slow rise as a proportion of all discrimination claims in the 1990s and has hovered in the general area of one-third of all discrimination claims for about the last decade. So, as all discrimination claims are on the upswing during this period of high unemployment, so too are retaliation claims (although the data show that retaliation claims rose faster this year).
One thing that the piece hinted at, but represents a significant aspect of retaliation claims, is that they're far more successful than straight discrimination claims. Managers often get angry after they're sued and, as a result, do really dumb things. So, as I tell my students, retaliation claims are the employment law equivalent of a political scandal: it's not the crime; it's the cover-up (OK, t's not a perfect comparison, but you get the drift).
Hat Tip: Joe Seiner