In a recent employment discrimination case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the 11th Circuit determined that employees who experience a hostile work
environment may file and maintain claims of retaliation under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that prohibits employment
discrimination in the workplace. Title VII prohibits discrimination against
employees on the basis of their race, color, sex, national origin, and religion.
Title VII also prohibits retaliation by your employer for complaining of
discrimination. If you experience retaliation in the workplace, you are
entitled to the same remedies as you have in any other discrimination
case. But it is important to understand that retaliation does not mean
any type of retaliatory conduct by your employer. Retaliation means that
you complained about discriminatory conduct in the workplace–either
discrimination directed at you or someone else in the workplace, and you
are retaliated against as a result.
If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation
at your job, it’s important to consult with a top
Atlanta retaliation attorney right away.
In the recently decided case,
Gowski v. Peake, the Court of Appeals reviewed the situation of two female physicians
who claimed that hospital management subjected them to a hostile work
environment in retaliation for filing separate employment discrimination
The alleged retaliatory actions lasted for several years and included behavior
actions such as unfair discipline, damage to the physicians’ reputations,
and their removal from committees and leadership positions and research
prohibitions after the women filed bias complaints.
The court flatly rejected the hospital’s defense that the doctors
would have been treated the same way even if they hadn’t filed bias
complaints. The justices determined that this defense doesn’t apply
when several actions taken collectively show a pattern of harassment.
Specifically after Gowski filed a complaint for bias in October 200, hospital
management removed her from a critical care committee, changed her duty
assignments, denied her certain hospital privileges, solicited complaints
about her from co-workers, and unfairly reprimanded her. Likewise, Zachariah,
who filed bias complaints in June 2005 and April 2006, claimed that the
hospital’s retaliation included suspending her research activities,
removing her from a rotation as neurology service chief, and removing
her from a stroke committee.
The court determined that based on the hospital’s actions, the jury
verdict in favor of the women should be upheld.
Retaliation and discrimination claims can be confusing. If you have questions
about discrimination, retaliation or believe that you have been subjected
to adverse actions at work, it’s important that you talk to an experienced
Georgia discrimination lawyer right away. For more information, please
contact the top
Atlanta discrimination attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation.