When an employee files an EEO complaint, managers and supervisors might fall into the following behavioral traps that could result in retaliatory behaviors:
- Taking it as a personal attack
- Avoiding the employee and limiting the interaction with the employee
- Questioning the employee’s loyalty
- Backtracking and attempting to recall instances in which they treated the employee unfairly
- Building a wall of protection from future filings by avoiding/ignoring the employee
- Being reluctant to address performance or conduct feedback openly and honestly
- Going out the way to appear fair and equitable
- Rallying with other managers to garner support and often creating an “us versus them” mindset
- Not taking the EEO complaint seriously
The issue at hand in all of the above scenarios begins and ends with a change in the relationship between the manager and employee once the employee files an EEO complaint. It’s a natural tendency to view others who accuse you of a wrongdoing with a cautious eye of suspicion. So, what can managers and supervisors do to positively move forward?
The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) published a blog post last year that offered seven tips for managers and supervisors to avert retaliatory actions against employees who had reported or opposed discrimination or been a party to an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) discrimination investigation. These actionable tips remain useful for managers and supervisors to follow.
In the next blog post, we’ll offer more advice -- 10 Interpersonal Skills for Managers to Prevent Retaliation. This information is essential to managers, so stay tuned! You can also register for Anti-Retaliation Training this month. We have Anti-Retaliation for Supervisors on August 16 and Anti-Retaliation Training for Employees on August 23. You can attend in person or via WebEx.
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