The role of an HR professional includes educatingon anti-discrimination laws. Doing so is generally considered doing one’s job and isn’t protected activity.
Recent case: Winifred, who is black, rose to become the director of Equal Opportunity Development for New York state. Her job was to assure that her agency complied with federal equal opportunity laws and regulations.
When her supervisor created new state rules for processing discrimination complaints, Winifred argued that the rules violated federal regulations. Shortly after, her job was eliminated. She sued, alleging retaliation for engaging in protected activity.
The federal court dismissed her case, reasoning that Winifred had just been doing her job and not protesting actual discrimination. Merely informing your supervisor as to what the law is does not constitute “protected activity.” (Cooper v. New York State Department of Labor, No. 1:14-CV-0717, ND NY, 2015)
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