retaliation claims may be brought and won even where it may not be possible to maintain
the underlying case for harassment or
employment discrimination. If you have been fired or subjected to an “adverse employment action”
after complaining about behavior you believe is in violation of discrimination
laws, you may have a claim for retaliation. Consulting with an experienced
employment discrimination lawyer is important to determine your next steps.
In a recent Seventh Circuit case –
Egan v. Freedom Bank – the court determined that a woman who complained about a male
board member revealing his sexual fantasies about her could bring a claim
for retaliation when she was later fired. Here Egan was the vice president
of Freedom Bank and interacted with a member of the board of directors
for business purposes. The board member told her that he “fantasized
about making love to her on a dance floor and wanted to take her to Las
Vegas and other places around the world.” Egan declined his advances
and subsequently filed a claim for
A few months later, Egan learned her position had been eliminated “based
on financial and organizational efficiency.” Another employee reported
that he overheard a conversation where the future bank president said
he had heard Egan had been doing “something she should have been
fired for.” He assumed the president was referring to filing the claim.
After her termination, Egan filed a lawsuit for
sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The court determined that while the facts may not support a claim for
harassment, they were sufficient to support a claim of retaliation. Where
the facts demonstrate a possible connection between a protected action
– here it was making a harassment complaint – and an adverse
action, then a claim for retaliation can proceed.
If you believe that you or someone you know at work has been discriminated
against, you can fight back. Discrimination laws prohibit retaliation
for complaining about discriminatory or harassing behavior. For more information
or if you believe you have been subjected to employment discrimination,
harassment or retaliation contact the experienced
Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a confidential consultation.