This next installment of our ongoing series takes a closer look into the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. Last week, we discussed the EEOC’s changing views regarding the elements of a retaliation claim. This week, we delve deeper into the EEOC’s proposed guidance, exploring the agency’s attempt to expand the so-called “participation clause,” and to broaden the definition of protected opposition conduct. We will also examine what, in the EEOC’s employee-friendly estimation, constitutes an adverse employment action in the retaliation context.
Expansion of “Participation Activity”
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the EEOC’s proposed guidance is the agency’s expansive interpretation of “participation activity.” As discussed last week, in order to prove a claim of retaliation, a plaintiff must first show that (s)he engaged in a “protected activity.” Protected activity, in turn, consists of either “opposition activity” or “participation activity.”
Continue Reading EEOC Guidance on Retaliation: An Unprecedented Interpretation of Federal EEO Law