Date: 09/28/2021
Time: 1 pm eastern
Run Time: 90 minutes including Q & A session
Leader: Jim Castagnera, Attorney at Law
Credits: Awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI and 1.5 PDCs by SHRM
Price: Webinar $295; Webinar + download $349 (Share the download with your colleagues)
Audience: HR, benefits, finance, managers and supervisors, CEOs, in-house counsel


Retaliation is the most frequent form of employee complaint received by the EEOC. Federal anti-discrimination laws protect workers by prohibiting retaliation against any worker who complains about an act of discrimination in the workplace. Employers need to be particularly cautious in the wake of pandemic closings and accommodations as they accelerate the pace at which they bring their employees back to work. Some employees may question or resist their employer’s decisions about who should come back to work and who will be allowed to continue to work remotely, or the circumstances under which an employee is required to return to the workplace. Some employees will also resist employer mandated vaccinations. They may even feel management’s decisions are discriminatory and file or threaten charges of discrimination and retaliation with the EEOC. Additionally, OSHA has indicated that it will go after employers who retaliate against workers based on their raising Covid-19 health & safety concerns.

Employers are on a slippery slope when it comes retaliation complaints. An employee’s initial charge of discrimination is a “protected activity.” Therefore, even if the complaint is found to be without merit, employers are still prohibited from taking disciplinary action against the employee for making that charge.

Please join Dr. Jim Castagnera, attorney at law, as he discusses the employer’s legal and regulatory risks associated with complaints of retaliation and the EEOC’s requirements for resolving retaliation complaints.  He will also review state prohibitions on employee retaliation and discuss the importance of the Supreme Court’s decisions concerning employee retaliation complaints. Dr. Castagnera will also offer practical guidance for responding to an employee’s complaint both before and after it reaches the EEOC.


During this timely and informative webinar Dr. Castagnera will discuss:

  • EEOC rules and procedures for resolving employee retaliation complaints
  • Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, ADA and ADEA protections for employees
  • The significance of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions outlawing retaliation against an employee
  • OSHA efforts to punish employers who discipline employees who voice Covid-19 health & safety concerns
  • State laws prohibiting retaliation against employees
  • What constitutes a “protected activity’” under federal discrimination laws and the limitations placed on the disciplinary actions taken by an employer
  • The link between harassment and discrimination claims and retaliation. How a claim of discrimination can morph into a charge of retaliation
  • Examples of retaliatory employer actions
  • What forms of discipline are permitted both while a discrimination complaint is pending and afterwards?
  • Avoiding knee jerk reactions and the appearance of taking punitive disciplinary action
  • Defending against a claim of retaliation. Relying on written policies and procedures, thorough investigations, and adequate training for supervisors and managers


Jim Castagnera holds an M.A. in journalism from Kent State University, and a J.D. and Ph.D. (American studies) from Case Western Reserve University. He worked 10 years as a labor, employment, and intellectual-property attorney with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr and 23 years as associate provost & legal counsel for academic affairs at Rider University, where in 2018 he received the university’s highest annual award for distinguished service. He also did stints as a full-time law professor at UT-Austin and Widener University Law School.

Having retired from Rider in 2019, he is engaged in a portfolio of activities: member and chief consultant of Holland Media Services LLC, a communications and training company with offices in Philadelphia and Los Angeles; member of Portum Group International LLC, a cyber security & privacy consulting firm in Philadelphia; of counsel to Washington International Business Counsel; and adjunct professor of Law in the Kline School of Law at Drexel University.