The thirst for revenge is among the strongest of human emotions. In fact, the innate human desire to “get even” has driven much of the history of the world. But acting on feelings of revenge can have dire consequences, not only in the world at large, but particularly in the world of employment law.
Most employment-protection laws contain anti-retaliation provisions. And courts are broadly interpreting and applying these provisions.
The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized and expanded the right to bring retaliation claims in a series of cases over the past several years. In January, the Court ruled that Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision covered an employee who was fired shortly after his fiancée, who worked for the same company, filed a sex discrimination claim. (Supreme Court Finds in Favor of Fired Fiance 01/25/2011
In March, the Court held that the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision, which uses the phrase “filed any complaint,” applies to an employee’s oral complaints.
These cases follow prior decisions in the last five years in which the Court ruled that:
· Title VII’s anti-retaliation clause, which refers to “opposition,” does not require active opposition, but encompasses involuntary participation, such as making statements during an employer’s internal investigation;
· Employees can bring retaliation claims under the ADEA;
Employees can bring retaliation claims under Section 1981 of Chapter 42 of the Continue Reading...