Showing 6 posts in Title VII Retaliation; Faragher/Ellerth.

EEOC’s Updated Retaliation Enforcement Guidance Seeks to Expand the Reach of its Anti-Retaliation Laws

Effectively responding to employee discrimination complaints by current employees without running afoul of federal and state anti-retaliation laws presents a slippery slope for all employers. In fact, retaliation complaints make up nearly half of all discrimination charges filed with the EEOC today. Thus, it is critical that employers, their managers, supervisors, and employees understand who the laws protect and what constitutes retaliation.

On Thursday the EEOC sought to clarify these standards by issuing updated proposed enforcement guidance. The proposal is the first update to the EEOC’s Compliance Manual since 1998. The proposal was prompted by significant developments in the law and the marked increase of retaliation claims over the last eighteen years.

The 76-page proposal covers the definition of retaliation, the elements of a retaliation claim, interference claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, remedies, and best practices.  Rather than summarize all of the above, I will highlight the most significant developments below. More ›

Sixth Circuit: Telling Supervisor to stop Harassing Conduct is Protected Activity Under Title VI

A company cannot fire an employee in retaliation for complaining to supervisors about sexual harassment, the Sixth Circuit recently held in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250 (6th Cir. April 22, 2015). This seems pretty straightforward, right? Not entirely. In this case, the employer argued that an employee who tells a supervisor to stop harassing her is not engaging in "protected activity" because she is not officially opposing an unlawful employment practice. Without the protected activity, there can be no retaliation, the employer argued. As discussed more fully below, and probably not as a surprise to many, this argument did not fly with the Court. More ›

Delivery Driver Loses Harassment Claim for Failing to Follow Complaint Procedure

It's important for employees to follow company policy, but it's even more important for employers to have those policies in the first place. In this case, the Fifth Circuit dealt a harsh blow to an employee who complained, but complained to the wrong people. More ›

Illinois Court: Participation in Employer’s own Discrimination Investigation After EEOC Complaint is Protected Activity Under Title VII

It is generally a rule that an employer may discipline its employee for his behavior during an internal investigation of alleged discrimination. A federal district court in Northern Illinois recently joined the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits, however, in recognizing an exception to that rule: where the investigation occurs after a complaint has been filed, employees who participate are protected from discipline by Title VII. More ›

Wal-Mart Follows Properly-Drafted Accommodation Policy, Still ends up Potentially Liable for Retaliation

The Seventh Circuit issued a decision earlier this week which reminds employers that following a properly-drafted policy does not necessarily guarantee freedom from legal complications in all cases. More ›

Second Circuit Rules on Issues of First Impression Regarding Title VII Protected Activities and the Application of Affirmative Defenses

In its May 9, 2011 decision in Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises, Inc. the Second Circuit ruled upon two issues of first impression concerning Title VII sexual harassment and retaliation claims. First, it joined the Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits in holding that an employee’s participation in an internal employer investigation is not a protected activity under Title VII. Second, it confirmed that the Faragher/Ellerth affirmative defense generally available to employers in sexual harassment cases does not apply when the harassment is committed by a senior executive who is a proxy or alter ego for the employer. More ›

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