• Employment Termination -- Even with Subsequent Reinstatement -- May Constitute Adverse Employment Action under Title VII
  • October 11, 2006
  • Law Firm: Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. - Pittsburgh Office
  • An employee who is otherwise performing a job in a manner that meets the employer's legitimate expectations, but suspects that he or she is being discriminated against, must be able to point to an "adverse employment action" in order to sufficiently support a claim of discrimination. Because adverse employment actions typically involve a material employment disadvantage (i.e., change in salary or benefits), it is fairly simple to classify an employment termination or demotion as an "adverse" action. But not all such situations are clear-cut. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed the question of whether employment termination is an adverse action if the employee subsequently is reinstated with back pay. The Court determined that reinstatement, even with back pay, does not negate the fact that the firing constitutes an adverse employment action sufficient to support a claim of discrimination. Phelan v. Cook County, 7th Cir., No. 01- C-3638, Sept. 18, 2006.