HR Management & Compliance

You’re the Expert: How can we train our managers and supervisors to avoid retaliation?

We had a serious discrimination and retaliation claim. The underlying claim got dismissed but the retaliation claim stuck. I think there’s another one in the offing. How can we train our managers and supervisors to avoid retaliation?

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Here’s what you had to say:


  • We start our training from the standpoint of admitting that the urge to retaliate is near universal. We say, of course managers and supervisors want to react against people who “make trouble” by reporting problems or filing charges. We admit, yes, dealing with complaints and charges can be disruptive and annoying, especially when you don’t think the charges have any merit.
    Then we talk about some cases in which the main charge was thrown out, but the retaliation charge stuck. And everyone agrees that that’s dumb. And we talk about the costs of these suits. And then, finally, we talk about how managers have to control themselves and be aware of the possibility of a retaliation claim. We encourage them to come to HR if they have any concerns about their planned actions. — P.A.
  • We found that training our managers was not enough. We had to implement a strict policy for our supervisors and managers that requires them to talk to HR before taking a serious adverse action against an employee. They are complying, and we don’t get those “knee jerk” retaliations any more. — K.M.
  • We spend some time talking about the various forms retaliation can take, and how people might feel retaliated against, even if they are not. For example, ostracizing, exclusion from plum assignments, failure to promote, not selecting for training, and so on. — M.R.