Pattern of retaliation

I filed a national origing discrmination charge with the EEOC 17 months ago. Since then, I have been demoted twice and denied of a pay increase. The first demotion came after 8 months of filing the charge. I appealed to my regional manager and my immediate manager reinstated my position; then, I was denied of a pay increase, and the last demotion, came recently (about three weeks), after I complained about not getting a pay increase and lack of advancement. I have appealed to Human Resources, Regional manager, but they refuse to give me a reason for the demotion, they just say that it is a final decision. Do I have legal recourse of retaliation?

1 answer  |  asked Feb 2, 2004 04:41 AM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
Not Every Adverse Employment Action is Retaliatory

To prove a claim of retaliation, you must show that you engaged in protected activity (filed a charge, which you did), that the employer took an adverse action against you (demotions) and that there is a causal connection between the two. It is this last element that is hard to prove. Even if the demotion were right on the heels of your charge of discrimination, that does not automatically make it retaliatory. An adverse action immediately after a protected act is suspicious, particularly if you had a history of good performance reviews. But eight months is a long time between events, and unless you have some evidence that the person who demoted you was angry or resentful about your charge, it will be hard to show the connection. Your employer is entitled to judge your performance and take legitimate actions regarding your employment. The fact that you filed a charge does not shield you from legitimate criticism.
If you believe that the actions against you were retaliatory, you should file another charge. A charge of retaliation is a separate charge from the one you originally filed, and the EEOC will not simply include retaliation in its investigation of the original charge. You have 300 days after an unlawful act to file a charge. Your time for filing a charge about the first demotion is almost gone.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Feb 2, 2004 10:51 AM [EST]

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