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Don’t fear retaliation claim if job changes are minor

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Employees who sue claiming discrimination have to show they endured some sort of adverse employment action, such as a demotion or termination.

But what about changes in assignments, such as a new sales territory?

Recent case: José Diaz worked as a claims adjuster. When his territory was changed, he believed the reason was his advancing age. He said the change increased his commute considerably.

He sued, alleging age discrimination. But the court threw out Diaz’s case, reasoning that employers are free to change territories. (Diaz v. AIG, No. 10-10440, 11th Cir., 2010)

Final note: Be careful about making changes after an employee complains about discrimination. Then the change might be seen as retaliation. Remember, retaliation is anything that would dissuade a reasonable employee from complaining in the first place. A longer commute might be enough.

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