Employee’s Personal Notes Lead to Trial

By Lindsay H.S. Hesketh A correctional officer will be going to trial against her former employer in the District of Arizona on hostile work environment claims.  The plaintiff alleged multiple instances of harassment, including being the target of crude comments, having to listen to sexually explicit stories, and being sexually assaulted in her car by […]

Through Good Times and Bad: Husband Has Retaliation Claim Based on Assisting Spouse’s Pregnancy Discrimination Claim

By Chance Hill A federal district court in Kansas denied a car dealership’s motion for summary judgment regarding a former sales manager’s retaliation claims.  Specifically, the sales manager contended that the company fired him because he became emotional in a meeting with HR over his wife’s charge of pregnancy discrimination against the dealership.  The sales manager […]

4 Retaliation Lessons from Comey’s Firing

By John Alan Doran Regardless of your political views, most will agree that President Trump’s firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey was fraught with potential controversy.  Employers can find at least four takeaways from what was, in short, a retaliation “how not to do it” checklist. First, regardless of the reason for a proposed termination, […]

Suspension Not Materially Adverse

By Bill Wright A retaliation claim under Title VII requires proof of a “materially adverse action.”  Short of discharge, what could be more materially adverse than a suspension?  The Fifth Circuit Court recently ruled that even a suspension is not always materially adverse.  The plaintiff will have to show that the suspension caused “physical, emotional, […]

Court Greenlights Anti-Retaliation Rules

By Pat Miller On November 28, 2016, the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied a request to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of OSHA’s anti-retaliation rules.  With this ruling, OSHA is free to enforce these rules pending a final resolution of the case.  In a nutshell, the new rules, […]

HR Abdicates Control

By Bill Wright The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently taught employers what can happen when Human Resources abandons an investigation half-way through. In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Serv., Inc., No,. 15-3239-cv (2d Cir. Aug. 29, 2016), a co-worker texted the plaintiff an obscene picture of himself, and the plaintiff brought a tearful, written complaint […]

OSHA to Enforce Anti-Retaliation

By Pat Miller OSHA announced today a new anti-retaliation rule that will allow it to issue citations against employers whose injury and illness reporting requirements are deemed to be retaliatory. OSHA believes that reporting policies that might somehow dissuade employees from reporting injuries violate the new rule. OSHA can seek abatement in the form of […]

Retaliation Encyclopedia

By Andy Volin The EEOC just released proposed enforcement guidance on retaliation, and at 73 pages, it has everything you ever wanted to know on the topic.  This is the first time since 1998 that the EEOC has updated its guidance on this topic, and the EEOC is soliciting public comment until February 24, 2016. […]

Protection for (Some) HR Managers

By Andy Volin Like most employment statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) prohibits retaliation against employees who file complaints. The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that this protection even extends to oral complaints at work. Recently, the Ninth Circuit decided that even a management employee in HR could assert retaliation based on a report […]