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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

13. Daniel filed a charge of discrimination against the company he worked for last summer – a swimming pool supply and service company. As part of the investigation, an EEOC investigator spoke to one of Daniel’s co-workers, Brian, who agreed that the supervisor treated Daniel, who is Asian, differently than workers who were not Asian. When the supervisor found out about the EEOC investigation, she called Daniel and Brian at home and yelled at them for talking to the EEOC. She also gave them negative references. Before the EEOC investigation, the supervisor had no complaints about Daniel or Brian’s job performance. Did the supervisor violate the law?

  1. Yes. The supervisor retaliated against Daniel by giving him a negative reference because he filed a charge of discrimination. The supervisor also retaliated against Brian by giving him a negative reference because he participated in the EEOC investigation.
  2. No. It was reasonable for the supervisor to yell at Daniel and Brian and give them negative references because the EEOC investigation was disruptive to the workplace.
  3. No. The supervisor has not violated the law because he called Daniel and Brian at their homes, and not at work.
  4. No. Federal law only protects current employees from discrimination. Because Daniel and Brian were no longer employed by the company when they spoke to the EEOC, it was not illegal for the supervisor to yell at them and give them negative references.