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Retaliation after 4 years have gone by? Yes, in some cases

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Don’t ignore applicants who have filed prior EEOC complaints against your organization. Give them a fair opportunity to compete for jobs.

Recent case: Stephanie, who was older than 40 when she first applied, wasn’t selected for a librarian position with a school district. She filed an EEOC age discrimination complaint and received a right-to-sue letter, although she chose not to sue.

Four years later, she applied for a new opening, but wasn’t asked to interview. She sued for retaliation.

The court let a jury hear the case after concluding that the four-year gap wasn’t too long to cut the connection between the EEOC complaint and the refusal to interview Stephanie. This was the district’s first possible opportunity to retaliate. (Bucalo v. Shelter Island, No. 10-1516, 2nd Cir., 2013)

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