A woman who was fired for allegedly secretly recording a conversation she had with a supervisor about harassment can still sue for sexual harassment, a federal court has ruled.
It did not matter that secretly recording conversations may be a crime in Pennsylvania.
Recent case: Tera Knoll worked as a maintenance worker for the city of Allentown. She complained early and often that her co-workers and a supervisor were sexually harassing her, including calling her "bitch" and playing violent music about raping and murdering women. Plus, she claimed someone, at work and off work, had tampered with her property.
When she complained, she secretly recorded the conversation. She was then fired and sued.
The court said she gets a trial, despite the illicit tape recording. (Knoll v. City of Allentown, No. 08-4692, ED PA, 2008)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Documenting HR's responsiveness cuts harassment liability
- Use peer-Review process to assess subjective qualities—And justify discipline
- Tell staff you're monitoring work e-mail so they can't argue it was confidential
- How not to fire complaining employee: Use pretext, don't document real reasons