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Good-faith complaint required for retaliation to be possible

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Employees who complain about alleged discrimination are protected from retaliation—up to a point. Frivolous complaints don’t count.

Recent case: Malcolm was a Rite Aid pharmacy manager until he was fired for tampering with the time-keeping system.

He sued, alleging that he had really been fired for complaining to HR about race discrimination. He claimed some white subordinates didn’t want to work for a black supervisor like himself. But Malcolm couldn’t provide names or examples of conduct that led him to believe that was really the case.

The court tossed out Malcolm’s case. It reasoned that he hadn’t made a good-faith complaint to HR and therefore hadn’t engaged in protected activity. (Armstrong v. Rite Aid, No. 11-30744, 5th Cir., 2012)

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