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Refusing to transfer can be retaliation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When transfer requests are routine, refusing one may be retaliation.

Recent case: Corene, a teacher, said her performance evaluation was biased. She complained internally and filed a discrimination complaint. Shortly after, her request for a transfer to another school was rejected. She sued, adding retaliation to her complaint. The lower court dismissed her lawsuit, but now an appeals court has reinstated Corene’s case.

It concluded that if transfers were routine, as Corene alleged, then the denial of her request could be retaliation. That was true even if Corene sought the transfer to get away from a supervisor she alleged had caused her stress and possible disability. A reasonable teacher could view having a routine transfer request denied as something that would dissuade her from complaining in the first place. (Carter v. Syracuse City School District, No. 15-2395, 2nd Cir., 2016)

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