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Discrimination claims must be based on good faith

Complaining about discrimination is considered protected activity. Punishing employees for com­plaining may be retaliation even if it turns out that the original claim was meritless. However, the original complaint must have been made in good faith.

Warn bosses to avoid retaliation when dealing with employees who constantly complain

Even if it turns out that most of an employee’s complaints aren’t serious enough to be considered unlawful under federal, state or local laws, that doesn’t mean the employee won’t have a retaliation case if her supervisor finds ways to make the employee pay for complaining.

Harassment report begets retaliation charge in Queens

Foodtown, a supermarket in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, faces charges it failed to stop a supervisor from sexually harassing two female employees and retaliating against them when they complained.

Inconvenient assignment isn’t adverse action

Things like being fired, demoted or denied a promotion all qualify as adverse employment actions. But what about other workplace events like having a schedule change, being denied overtime or getting transferred to a similar position?

Employees of companies doing business with Pennsylvania have whistleblower protection

Some private employers have been arguing that the services they provide are not for or to a public body. Therefore, they argue, they can’t be sued for punishing whistleblowing employees. A federal court has concluded that reasoning is wrong.

Public employees’ ordinary work complaints aren’t protected by the First Amendment

Public employees have limited First Amendment rights to speak out about matters of public importance. That doesn’t include simple workplace gripes.

When fired employee complains to EEOC, be sure to monitor all subsequent filings

Employees who expect to be disciplined or fired sometimes go on the offensive by filing an EEOC complaint. You shouldn’t be intimidated—as long as you are convinced the discipline is legitimate and you have clear documentation of poor performance or misbehavior.

Check layoff rationale for signs of hidden discrimination

A layoff based on legitimate business reasons can still form the basis for a retaliation claim if the layoff decision was based on ulterior motives.

Carefully document all details when employee starts having attendance problems

It may seem obvious that a worker isn’t following your attendance rules. However, always carefully document each absence anyway. Meticulous records make it easier to win if the employee claims your discipline was based on discrimination or retaliation.

Out on medical leave? Don’t automatically reject bid for promotion

You might assume that if an employee is out on medical leave and applies for a promotion or a different position, you can reject her application because she can’t currently work. But that could turn out to be a big mistake.