Retaliation Claims and Potential Claimants May Increase Litigation in the Medical Field

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Medical professionals are sensitive to potential claims from employees for age, gender, race, national origin, citizenship, religious, sexual orientation, and disability discrimination or workplace harassment claims. Most organizations have developed and published non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and complaint mechanisms in their handbooks or manuals, train their staff on these policies, and, when faced with a claim, investigate and take prompt and effective remedial action to address the situation and eliminate any discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This increased employer sophistication has resulted in fewer claims, happier workplaces, and concurrently lower liability exposure. Even where no unlawful discrimination or harassment occurred, an employee may still assert unlawful retaliation or “whistleblower” status for having complained about another’s allegedly unlawful conduct or havng participated in an investigation into the complaint. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which investigates and prosecutes claimed violations of federal employment laws reports that retaliation claims are on the rise and exceed those alleging any other type of claim at this point in its history. Retaliation is perceived as a “growth industry” for lawsuits.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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