It’s common sense: You can retaliate only if you know about whatever it is you are supposedly retaliating against. If you can show you never knew an employee was engaged in an alleged protected activity, it becomes impossible for an employee
to win a retaliation claim.
It’s a tricky situation, since you’re trying to prove a negative—that something didn’t happen. Fortunately, it’s easier than it might seem at first.
One way is to rely on how you ordinarily conduct business. For example, if you have a routine way of logging all the mail, faxes or e-mails you receive, you can prove that you didn’t receive something because you didn’t docket it along with all your other correspondence.
Recent case: Steve Evans sued his employer for disability discrimination and retaliation for complaining about disability discrimination.
The court disposed of the first complaint by concluding Evans wasn’t disabled.
On the retaliation claim, the company said it never received a copy of Evans’ supposed discrimination complaint. Evans had no proof that it did, either. The court dismissed the case because, without proof that his employer knew about his protected activity (the complaint), Evans couldn’t prove retaliation. (Evans v. MAAX-KSD, Inc., No. 08-1627, 3rd Cir., 2009)
Final note: Consider assigning one person to log everything that comes in through the mail or the fax machine. Back up and keep the log in a place that’s free from tampering. Have IT log incoming e-mail.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/9098/set-up-correspondence-log-tracking-all-incoming-mail-faxes-and-e-mails "
- FMLA leave-taker slipping? Fire away, with justification
- Track disciplinary details to stop bias suits
- Transfer isn't reasonable accommodation if it violates another employee's labor rights
- DOL to tighten child labor rules for farm workers
- Don't fear informal ADA accommodation: You can still challenge disability later