Retailation for trying to prevent discrimination against others

I am faculty at a private university. Last year I actively sought to stop what I considered to be discrimination against minorities in our admission process. My activities included filing a complaint with the University. This year the Dean took me off the admission committee, saying that I had no entitlement to that assignment, that my activities last year had been an impedement to the process and specifically mentioned the complaint to the University as problematic. In addition, to taking me off the Admission committee, she gave me two assignments which are on the lowest end of importance in our school. One of them is essentially a clerical function - arranging scholarly workshops. Can I make a claim of retailiation even though my complaint about discrimination was not about discrimination toward me but discrimination toward others?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 25, 2004 5:20 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Opposing discrimination against others is protected conduct

Ohio and federal law protect employees against retaliation for opposing discrimination against others. You therefore appear to have engaged in protected activity.

Before you file suit, however, you must suffer "tangible, adverse action." Some courts have held that an adverse action has to result in a loss of pay in order to be "tangible" and that a reassignment in duties does not rise to that level. Your case may be different, given the importance of committees and assignments in the academic area, but be aware of that issue.

Best regards,

Neil Klingshirn.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Aug 26, 2004 10:53 AM [EST]

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