Is a Retaliation Claim in Your Future?

Have you heard of retaliation claims? This situation can arise when a worker alleges that their employer has taken improper employment action against them as a form of retaliation – in particular, when the employee was exercising their rights under the law. For example, a worker is denied a promotion after filing a complaint about a supervisor who failed to follow safety procedures.

Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that the number of retaliation-based lawsuits is on the rise. The fact is, if you’re a business owner, your employees are within their rights to file a retaliation claim against you.

According to the International Risk Management Institute, a retaliation claim results when an employee alleges discrimination based on a protected status (such as race, gender or disability) and, in retaliation for making such a claim, the employee is treated adversely (e.g., the employee receives a demotion).

The law firm Greenwald-Doherty lists adverse actions as:

  • Firing
  • Demoting
  • Failing to promote
  • Refusing to hire
  • Harassing or transferring the individual
  • Reducing the employee’s pay
  • Withholding the employee’s bonus payment
  • Giving the employee a negative review or bad job assignments

“In recent years, retaliation claims have also been made in conjunction with workers’ compensation claims, [where] employees have sued their employers when, in response to filing a workers’ compensation claim, an employer took some form of adverse action against the worker (e.g., imposing a change in work hours, or giving the employee a demotion or a reprimand).” Source: International Risk Management Institute

As a business owner, you do everything in your power to ensure your employees feel valued. Yet, even under the best circumstances, an employee can believe they have been wronged. Remember, you don’t have to be found at fault for an employee to file a lawsuit against you!

The fact is, costs associated with employment practice claims can be extremely costly. Having an employment practices liability insurance policy can help mitigate defense costs and damages related to various employment-related claims and is critically important to help protect business assets.

Employment practice liability claims can arise in every type of organization – regardless of the company’s structure or size. The specialists at Oakwood D&O are dedicated to the EPLI marketplace and stand ready to find the appropriate coverage to meet your needs.

To learn more, get in touch! Email Eli Solomon, CEO, at or call 323-686-7519. You can also follow Oakwood D&O on LinkedIn