Monday, April 27, 2015

That is SO last week

Last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that telling a supervisor to stop harassing you may be enough to support a retaliation claim under Title VII.  Three women had complained to their supervisor about his offensive comments and conduct.  A male they worked with also complained to the supervisor, telling him “calm down on making them comments because I don’t believe them women was liking that.” The women were fired after complaining. At trial, the firings were found by a jury to have been retaliatory.  The employer appealed, claiming that complaining to the supervisor/harasser was not protected conduct.
In affirming the jury’s award of $1.5 million to the employees, the Sixth Circuit pointed out that Title VII does not require victims of harassment to complain to any particular level of management.  It was sufficient that the employees complained to their supervisor, even though he was the harasser.
Posted by Kate Bischoff