Employees are protected from retaliation for complaining about alleged discrimination. That doesn’t mean, however, that everything negative that happens after a complaint is filed is grounds for a retaliation lawsuit.
Recent case: Tonya Miller-Goodwin worked for a police department. After a supervisor allegedly slapped her on the buttocks, she told him that if he ever touched her again, she would “sue you and the boys’ club so fast it would make your head spin.”
Miller-Goodwin claimed that after she made the statement, she was retaliated against when she received a counseling memo eight months later. But the memo didn’t lead to any other action.
Miller-Goodwin sued for retaliation when she was later fired for other reasons. But the court said the counseling memo was not retaliation. (Miller-Goodwin v. City of Panama City Beach, No. 09-12598, 11th Cir., 2010)