Following the US Department of Labor’s pre-announcement of its joint anti-retaliation initiative with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board (as reported in our November 2021 Electronic Update), the DOL has now released additional resources that it says are “to help address retaliation against employees who assert their rights at work or cooperate with investigations by the Wage and Hour Division.” These resources include:
- A Field Support Bulletin provide information on protection from retaliation under the laws enforced by the DOL’s WHD (i.e. Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act). Some of the points raised in the FAB include:
- Retaliation is prohibited for exercising rights under these laws.
- Complaints can be written or oral, internal or external.
- An employee may be mistaken as to whether a violation of laws has occurred, but they are always protected from retaliation.
- Retaliation can be subtle (eg, exclusion from meetings) or overt (eg, threats, firing).
- Retaliation may be taken by the agent of the employer, such as an outside attorney. Former employers can also retaliate.
- Essential protection for workers presentation on “unlawful retaliation under the laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division”.
- A new revenge website which defines “retaliation,” provides examples, identifies applicable laws, gathers resources on the subject, and educates employees on how to file a complaint.