The vast web of federal employment laws gives many employees protection from discrimination. Whistle-blowers, military service members, members of minority groups, workers age 40 or older, disabled employees and those who have taken family or medical leave all qualify for some sort of discrimination protection.
Firing any member of those worker classes opens an employer to a potential lawsuit.
WHAT’S NEW: Two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have broadened worker protections. In one case, the court ruled that it may be retaliation if an employer fires the fiancé of an employee who has filed a discrimination complaint.
In another case, an employee who was also a member of the armed forces won when he demonstrated that, even though the supervisor who decided to fire him bore no anti-military bias, those who supplied information used in his termination did. This theory—known as the “cat’s paw” theory—postulates that su...(register to read more)