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Small annoyances can add up to retaliation


Retaliation can be anything that would dissuade a reasonable employee from complaining about discrimination in the first place. It doesn’t have to be an isolated act.

Kingwood, Texas firm digs in heels over unpaid OT, faces suit


A Houston-area medical staffing firm refused to back down when the Department of Labor accused it of stiffing an employee out of overtime pay and then retaliating against the employee for complaining.

Is that retaliation or a legitimate business decision?


Employees are protected from retaliation for complaining internally about alleged discrimination. Some workers seem to think that means they can never be criticized or have their working conditions change. Fortunately, that’s not true.

Paid suspension is hardly ‘intolerable’


An employee can quit and sue for constructive discharge if the working conditions are truly intolerable. Being suspended with pay pending an investigation doesn’t qualify.

Move affecting income might be retaliation


If an employer action affecting a worker’s pocketbook would make a reasonable employee think twice about filing a discrimination complaint, a court is likely to consider the merits of a retaliation lawsuit. 

Supreme Court 2017–18: Employment law cases on the docket


This year’s Supreme Court docket covers several timely employment law issues. As the last word on important legal issues, Supreme Court decisions usually offer important compliance lessons.

Locked out of the office: Is that retaliation—or should she have knocked on the door?


An employee’s mere suspicion about possible reprisal, based on seemingly minor supervisory actions, won’t persuade a court that retaliation occurred. Instead, workers are expected to take a bit of initiative.

Document business reasons for staffing moves


Document the timing and explanation for all employment actions. It’s hard for employees to win lawsuits over transfers, demotions or discharges when the employer has records showing objective business reasons for the move.

Disciplining whistleblower? Beware retaliation charge


If a supervisor receives a whistleblower complaint from a subordinate, make sure he or she has no decision-making role in any subsequent discipline against the whistleblower.

Beware Texas Occupations Code retaliation


A nurse who makes a report under the Texas Occupations Code is protected from discipline because of that report. Discipline within 60 days is presumed to be retaliation. However, employers can rebut this presumption by showing the discipline was not related to the report.

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