Bad Timing, but No Punitives

By Andy Volin Firing someone right after they complain of discrimination can result in a retaliation claim, even if the employer thinks it has a good reason unrelated to the complaint. The Tenth Circuit just upheld a jury verdict in this situation, despite the employer’s assertion that it discharged the plaintiff for submitting fake letters […]

No Names Please

By Bill Wright When you file SEC reports, do you report litigation risks? Do you name employees involved?  An employer is headed to trial over whether it retaliated against a former employee by stating her name in SEC filings as the Charging Party responsible for a large EEOC investigation and conciliation.  The employer didn’t use […]

Cussing Out The Boss May Be Protected

By Jon Watson During a meeting about commissions and minimum wage and about his own and other sales peoples’ breaks, an employee lost his temper. In a raised voice he called his supervisors names, including “f***ing mother f***ing,” f***ing crook[s],” and an “a**hole,” among others. He also stood up, pushed his chair aside, and told […]

HR as Caesar’s Wife

By Bill Wright An employee rejects a co-worker’s proposal of a physical relationship. The co-worker gets him fired. Is the employer liable for sex discrimination? This is different from earlier cat’s paw cases because the person who caused the discharge was a co-worker, not a supervisor, but according to one court, the standard for employer […]

Federal Contractors Beware

More Changes Coming Your Way! By Lori Wright Keffer On April 8, 2014, President Obama issued an executive order titled “Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information,” prohibiting federal contractors and subcontractors from retaliating against an employee or applicant for inquiring about, discussing, or revealing their compensation or any other employee’s or applicant’s compensation. The Secretary […]

Protesting Too Much

By Sarah Peace Last Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reminded employees that filing a Charge of Discrimination doth not make thee invincible. Benes v. A.B. Data, Ltd., No. 13-1166 (7th Cir. July 26, 2013). In this matter, a current employee filed a Charge of Discrimination and the EEOC held a mediation. At the […]

Cop Moved Off Her Beat and Onto FMLA Leave

By Andy Volin A police officer in a small town asked for light duty after she hurt her foot off duty. The chief refused because there was no light duty available, the force had only provided it in the past to officers with work related injuries, and it had actually entirely discontinued light duty prior […]

But-For Retaliation

By Bill Wright The Supreme Court has addressed the standard courts should apply to determine whether an employer violates Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision. Because of a statutory amendment in 1991, courts apply a “motivating factor” test for Title VII discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. The anti-retaliation provision however is in […]