• Standards for Defining "Retaliation" Under Title VII Have Been Broadened
  • July 5, 2006
  • Law Firm: Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. - Pittsburgh Office
  • Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, an employer cannot discriminate against an individual for opposing a practice forbidden under that Act, or for participating in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under that Act. Such discrimination is considered to be "retaliation." However, federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have differed on the issues of whether the employer's action must be directly related to the individual's employment, and how harmful that action must be to constitute retaliation. The Supreme Court has determined that the antiretaliation provision of Title VII does not limit prohibited retaliation to employment-related actions, but that the provision relates only to those actions that would have been "materially adverse" to a "reasonable" employee or applicant.