Salome Fierros filed an internal complaint against her boss for assigning her duties that other lab technicians weren't required to do. Soon after, Fierros claimed, the director retaliated by denying her a merit pay increase that her supervisor had recommended. She sued for retaliation. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Fierros, saying that denying an employee's merit pay increase is an "ultimate employment decision."
Bottom line: Never single out an employee in a protected class to deny a recommended raise because of a complaint about inequities. (Fierros v. Texas Dept. of Health, 5th Cir., No. 00-51212, 2001)
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