I filed an internal grievance and a
charge of gender discrimination with
EEOC against the state agency that I
work for. I am in the process of trying
to find another job and I recently found
out that an agency I applied with knows
that I filed a grievance. The agency
that I filed the grievance with leaked
this information. Is this retaliation?
I failed to get an interview with the
other agency for a position that I was
more than qualified for. Thanks

1 answer  |  asked Jul 5, 2002 3:12 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
Retaliation can be a complicated question

To answer your question, I would need more information. It is really several questions in one. First, I would want to know if the two agencies are both state agencies, and whether the information about your charge was "leaked," or whether it was simply information available to any state agency. You seem to be suggesting by your question that the agency you work for was retaliating by "leaking" the information, but you would have to prove that such "leaking" constitutes an adverse employment action. If your employer is the state, and if the prospective employer is also the state, the sharing of such information is not exactly the same as giving it out to some other prospective employer.
A more important question is whether the reason you didn't get an interview is because the second agency found out about your complaint. If so, it is the agency to which you applied that is retaliating against you, and your complaint should focus on that agency's use of your protected conduct (complaint) as a reason to treat you less favorably than other applicants.
You should also be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in several recent cases that the 11th Amendment to the Constitution precludes suits against states based upon a variety of federal laws, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most people assume that the same rule would apply to a Title VII discrimination claim. The Arizona Civil Rights Act is still available, but it has fewer remedies and a shorter statute of limitations. If you plan to pursue your claim, I suggest you discuss it with an attorney soon.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Jul 5, 2002 5:51 PM [EST]

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