Good news for employers: When employees file frivolous complaints, it doesn’t count as a protected activity. That means an employee can’t set up his employer by filing a nonsensical discrimination claim and then waiting for some perceived punishment or imagined slight to create a retaliation lawsuit.
Courts seem to be catching on to that common practice. Employees who know they are in trouble because they broke a company rule or haven’t been performing often think filing a discrimination complaint with HR or the EEOC will make them “untouchable.”
Until recently, that’s been a sound strategy. Courts have often bent over backward to rule that any adverse employment action might be retaliation if it affects an employee who has complained about discrimination. Helped by a U.S. Supreme Court case that says retaliation is anything that would make a reasonable employee think twice about complaining, courts have found retali...(register to read more)
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