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November 17, 2021
On Nov. 17, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how employers can avoid violating anti-retaliation provisions under federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new FAQs, which were added to the EEOC’s existing guidance on COVID-19 and fair employment issues, address the rights of employees and applicants who believe they suffered retaliation for protected activities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or other employment discrimination laws.
Retaliation and Interference Guidance
Among other things, the new FAQs clarify that:
- Anti-retaliation provisions of federal EEO laws protect not only applicants and current employees but also former employees;
- Unlawful retaliation includes any employer action in response to protected activity that could deter a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity; and
- The ADA prohibits not only retaliation for protected EEO activity but also “interference” with an individual’s exercise of ADA rights.