In order to ensure that employees are not scared to complain about work
place discrimination, federal law, including Title VII and other discrimination
retaliation. Not all retaliatory actions are covered, but if you are the victim of
any negative action as the result of making a complaint or participating
as a witness in someone else’s discrimination case, you may be able
to file a retaliation claim.
In a recent case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit determined that a management analyst for the Secret Service could
maintain her action for retaliation against the Department of Homeland Security.
Mogenhan v. Napolitano, a woman who suffered severe migraines filed a discrimination complaint
asserting that she received lower employment rating scores based on her
sex and disability. Within 20 days of her filing her complaint with the
EEOC, Mogenhan’s supervisor, John Machado, placed the complaint
on the Secret Service intranet so that everyone could – and did
– access the document. He also increased Mogenhan’s workload
to five or six times that of other employees. He explained to her that
it was to “keep [her] too busy to file complaints.”
The court determined that Mogenhan did not have a claim for disability
discrimination, however it held that the actions of Mogenhan’s supervisor
could constitute “retaliation.”
Here, the court reasoned that a reasonable jury could find that posting
an EEO complaint where everyone could see it could “chill a reasonable
employee from further protected activity.” Additionally, the court
held that reasonable employees might be dissuaded from filing discrimination
complaints if they thought an employer would “retaliate by burying
them in work.” Citing with favor
Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 98 FEP Cases 385 (2006), the court noted that an employee
need only establish a material adverse action to sustain an action for
retaliation. Here, the allegations met this burden.
In many cases, it is easier to win a claim for retaliation than for discrimination.
If you honestly believe you or a co-worker were discriminated against
and you complain – you don’t have to suffer in silence. The
law protects your ability to complain about discrimination and be free
For more information or if you believe you have been the victim of discrimination
or retaliation contact The Buckley Law Firm, LLC, a Georgia Law Firm dedicated
to protecting employee’s rights in the workplace.