I enjoy blogging about employment law. But occasionally, perhaps after a long day, I wish some of these blog posts would write themselves.
Last night, I got my wish. Continue reading
An employee who claims retaliation in federal court must demonstrate they suffered treatment was “materially adverse,” i.e., something that could reasonably have dissuaded a reasonable worker from participating in a protected activity, like complaining about discrimination.
Last night, I read a decision from a federal judge in New York weighing allegations that the plaintiff’s supervisors knew the plaintiff had filed several EEO complaints and then retaliated against her.
But were the acts of retaliation “materially adverse”? Not really. No.
A director for a major transit authority applied for two internal promotions. She didn’t get either. Feeling that she was more qualified than either successful candidate, the director reported discrimination internally and later filed a Charge of Discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Among other things, she alleged in the EEOC Charge that, after her internal report of discrimination, she experienced retaliation. For example, she alleged that he performance review scores went down, her workload increased, and some analysts no longer reported to her.
That’s not great. But, is it what the law considers “retaliation”?
On August 7, 2018, a worker sent an email. The email stated, “I fear retaliation” and “my colleagues and I have been the victims of continuous harassment, both sexual and emotional.”
On August 9, 2018, just two days later, the company fired her.
How do you think that turned out? Continue reading
If, like me, you deal with HR compliance and employment law issues regularly, you’ve yelled the title of this blog post at others.
(And if you don’t deal with HR compliance and employment law issues regularly, dude, WTH are you doing here?) Continue reading
When a plaintiff sues, alleging a supervisor subjected them to a hostile work environment, the defendant may avoid liability — even if the harassment actually occurred — if it took prompt remedial action to protect the plaintiff. Also, if a plaintiff fails to take advantage of corrective opportunities the defendant provides, the defendant wins.
But not always. Continue reading
Employment lawyers and HR professionals generally preach that employees view “it’s not a good fit” to explain their termination of employment as code for discrimination or retaliation.
But yesterday, a federal court of appeals explained that this well-intentioned but often misconstrued rationale isn’t always a thinly-veiled, pretextual excuse to fire someone. Sometimes, people aren’t “good fits.” Continue reading