In order to prove retaliation, the first thing an employee must do is either participate in a legal complaint or report an employer’s violation to the proper authority. Courts have found that merely reporting the employer internally within the company does not prove retaliation. The employee must have involved a government agency or be a participant in another worker’s complaint to a government agency.
The employee must show that the action done by the employer against the employee was serious and was prompted by the reporting of the employer to the authorities. For example, a disciplinary action that was written up about an employee but was not put into effect until after the employee had filed an EEOC complaint would probably not be considered retaliation.