Employees who perform HR functions must adhere to the law. But what happens if
In most cases, no.
However, an HR professional who does more than just protest the discriminatory decision internally—and actually files or helps an employee file EEOC or other discrimination charges—may be able to claim retaliation.
Recent case: Evelyn Correa worked as the HR director for Mana Products until she was fired because management suspected she was helping employees file discrimination charges against it. Correa sued, alleging retaliation for engaging in protected activity—that is, for allegedly helping employees.
But the court tossed out her case when it became apparent she never did help any employees. Instead, she had actually supported each of the potentially discriminatory company decisions that led to the discrimination charges.
The court said only those who have formally and officially opposed an action can later claim protection. It was irrelevant that the company imagined Correa tried to help the employees. The fact was, she never took action to help the employees who claimed discrimination. (Correa v. Mana Products, 04-2344, ED NY, 2008)
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