The U.S. Department of Labor Provides More Anti-Retaliation Resources
Following the U.S. Department of Labor’s prior announcement of its joint anti-retaliation initiative with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board (as discussed in our November 2021 E-Update), the DOL has now released additional resources that it asserts are “to help combat retaliation against employees who assert their workplace rights or cooperate with investigations by the Wage and Hour Division.” These resources include:
- A Field Assistance Bulletin to provide information on protection against retaliation under the laws enforced by the DOL’s WHD (i.e. the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act). Some of the points made 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 wrong about whether a violation of the laws has occurred, but they are still protected from retaliation.
- Retaliation can be subtle (e.g. excluded from meetings) or overt (e.g. threats, termination).
- Retaliation can occur by the employer’s agent, such as outside counsel. Also former employers can retaliate.
- An Essential Workers Essential Protections presentation on “Unlawful Retaliation Under the Laws Enforced by the Wage and Hour Division.”
- A new Retaliation website that defines “retaliation,” provides examples, identifies the applicable laws, collects resources on the topic, and informs employees how to file a complaint.