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Public employee free-speech rights have limitations

Public employees who speak out on matters of public concern are protected from retaliation for doing so. But not every comment is protected.

Not all shift change denials are retaliation

Courts have long held that, after an employee files a discrimination complaint, it may be retaliation to change her shift to punish her. But what if the complaining employee requests a shift change and the employer denies that change?

In retaliation cases, passage of time matters

Sometimes, a worker who files several discrimination claims will argue that any subsequent punishment was retaliation. Fortunately, the more time that passes between the complaints and the discipline, the less likely he will be able to claim retaliation.

Beware firing health care whistleblowers

Texas state law protects health care workers and others from discharge for reporting potential health and safety violations to their employer or an outside agency. Firing someone who made a good-faith whistleblowing report can backfire badly.

FMLA: Firing can easily trigger retaliation suit

Thinking about terminating an employee who is currently out on FMLA leave? Proceed with the greatest of care! If ever there was a “red lights flashing” HR moment, this is it.

Former Minn. health department official claims retaliation

A former director of the Minnesota health department’s health regulation division has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired in retaliation for complaining internally about a culture of bullying and intimidation at the department.

Reorganization can justify termination decision

Courts are naturally suspicious when employees who have filed lawsuits end up getting fired. But when an employer can explain that someone lost her job because of a valid business reason, courts seldom second-guess that decision.

Reasonable accommodation could be called retaliation

If you accommodate a disabled employee, but the accommodation winds up adversely affecting the employee instead, you could get sued for retaliation.

Five women leave Harrisburg, Pa. TV station in four months

Harrisburg television station WHTM ABC27 is the target of a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission complaint that alleges Robert Bee, the station’s general manager, created a hostile work environment for women.

Regular safety complaints could spell legal trouble

Be careful if a worker files a steady stream of safety complaints. If those complaints are followed by an accident or incident and the worker is disciplined for something seemingly unrelated, he may still be able to make a whistleblower complaint.