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Check reason before approving post-complaint discipline

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Employees who complain about alleged discrimination by a supervisor can set up a retaliation claim if they are disciplined or otherwise punished shortly after complaining.

Ordinarily, employers can defeat such cases by showing that the discipline was warranted. But relying solely on the say-so of the boss the employee initially complained about may cause trouble if that supervisor’s reasons are flimsy.

Recent case:
Sharyn Algood complained that her supervisor made her work in a hostile environment. Then the supervisor recommended Algood’s suspension.

Algood sued, alleging retaliation. Partly because the supervisor had never had any problems with Algood before, the court let the case go to trial. (Algood v. Paulson, No. 08-0992, SD TX, 2009)

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