While employers generally are free to direct their workforces in reasonable ways to meet operational needs, they can’t retaliate against employees for complaining about possible discrimination. In Princeton v. Lowe’s Home Centers, a mere reassignment to another department in a retail store wasn’t retaliation, but a legitimate
On the other hand, a transfer or series of transfers that limits future opportunities may be retaliation.
Recent case: After Brenda O’Neal sued the city of Chicago for sex discrimination, she found herself transferred from department to department. The transfers limited her opportunities for promotion since she never got much experience in any one job.
Then O’Neal sued for retaliation. The court said under those circumstances, a transfer might be retaliation. (O’Neal v. City of Chicago, No. 09-1716, 7th Cir., 2009)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Encourage employee language skills the legally safe way
- When whistle-blower complains, watch out for supervisor retaliation
- The case of the disappearing employee, whose leaves leave us struggling
- How can we prepare for a flu pandemic?