In some circumstances, all it takes to launch a retaliation lawsuit is a supervisor’s isolated, insensitive comment.
Recent case: Mark LaFranco, who worked in sales, is half Jewish. While at a convention with his new supervisor, LaFranco suggested they talk about his commissions. LaFranco claimed the boss said, “What, are you a Jew?”
LaFranco said he was startled and blurted out that he was indeed half Jewish. The supervisor then abruptly left the room without saying anything else. Shortly after, LaFranco was fired.
He sued, alleging retaliation for pointing out that he is Jewish. A jury agreed and the company appealed.
The appeals court said LaFranco engaged in protected activity when he identified himself as Jewish after the boss’s comment. It upheld the jury award. (LaFranco v. Avaya, No, A-1666, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, 2009)
- For class-action lawsuits, independent contractor wording is what matters
- Can we demand employee's Facebook password so we can access her postings?
- Unions are revving up: Here's how to keep them at bay
- Must you pay for protective equipment? OSHA explains rules
- EEOC charges modular housing company with racial bias