A credit administrator claimed race discrimination and was transferred – two years later. The Seventh Circuit found that “the hint of causation weakens as the time between the protected expression and the adverse action increases, and the plaintiff must offer additional proof of a causal nexus.”

An employee who was fired in retaliation for reporting wage and benefit improprieties is entitled to recover punitive damages under the FLSA. A federal court in Pennsylvania interpreted the phrase “legal or equitable relief” under the anti-retaliatory provision of the FLSA to include punitive damages. Marrow v. Allstate Security & Investigative Services Inc. The court reasoned that deterring employers from punishing workers who exercise FLSA rights by allowing punitive damages helps effectuate the purposes of the law.

A negative reference that would likely impact future job opportunities is unlawful retaliation for bringing a race discrimination claim, even without proof that a specific job was lost because of the bad reference.

The Catering Director of Le Bar Bat in New York City has been convicted of obstruction of justice and sentenced to one year in prison. When the EEOC investigated a sexual harassment complaint, the Catering Director targeted the Complainants with fliers accusing them of prostitution, child molestation and drug dealing. He then asked his co-workers to tell EEOC investigators that he had nothing to do with the fliers.

UBS Warburg LLC was sued for sex discrimination and retaliation. Plaintiff sought emails in discovery to prove her case. The emails were archived and would cost $175,000 to restore and produce. A federal judge ordered the employer, at its expense, to turn over all emails on optical disk or an active server.

A telephone technician was denied overtime opportunities after complaining about religious discrimination. He was also given a more difficult assignment and a van that was not air-conditioned. The court found that the reassignment itself was not an adverse employment action, but when accounting for everything, the court did find unlawful retaliation.

A division bank president mooned two employees who complained about the incident. They were fired for complaining and collected back pay, future damages, compensatory damages and $250,000 each for punitive damages.

A jury awarded $1 million to a clerk at a GM plant. The Eighth Circuit found that boorish behavior was not “so severe and extreme that a reasonable person would find that the terms and conditions of … employment had been altered.”

A customer service representative requested a perfume-free policy or an enclosed cubicle with an air filter because of toxic encephalopathy. She was fired because she accused her employer of poisoning her and because her requests were framed as ultimatums. The Third Circuit found enough evidence to support a retaliation claim and ordered a trial.

A lateral transfer without a loss in benefits or responsibilities is not an adverse employment action. The court observed that “not everything that makes an employee unhappy is an actionable adverse action.”