Actions That Create A Hostile Work Environment May Be Grounds For A Retaliation Lawsuit

In a recent employment discrimination case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit determined that employees who experience a hostile work environment may file and maintain claims of retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination in the workplace. Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of their race, color, sex, national origin, and religion.

Title VII also prohibits retaliation by your employer for complaining of discrimination. If you experience retaliation in the workplace, you are entitled to the same remedies as you have in any other discrimination case. But it is important to understand that retaliation does not mean any type of retaliatory conduct by your employer. Retaliation means that you complained about discriminatory conduct in the workplace–either discrimination directed at you or someone else in the workplace, and you are retaliated against as a result.

If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation at your job, it’s important to consult with a top Atlanta retaliation attorney right away.

In the recently decided case, Gowski v. Peake, the Court of Appeals reviewed the situation of two female physicians who claimed that hospital management subjected them to a hostile work environment in retaliation for filing separate employment discrimination complaints.

The alleged retaliatory actions lasted for several years and included behavior actions such as unfair discipline, damage to the physicians’ reputations, and their removal from committees and leadership positions and research prohibitions after the women filed bias complaints.

The court flatly rejected the hospital’s defense that the doctors would have been treated the same way even if they hadn’t filed bias complaints. The justices determined that this defense doesn’t apply when several actions taken collectively show a pattern of harassment.

Specifically after Gowski filed a complaint for bias in October 200, hospital management removed her from a critical care committee, changed her duty assignments, denied her certain hospital privileges, solicited complaints about her from co-workers, and unfairly reprimanded her. Likewise, Zachariah, who filed bias complaints in June 2005 and April 2006, claimed that the hospital’s retaliation included suspending her research activities, removing her from a rotation as neurology service chief, and removing her from a stroke committee.

The court determined that based on the hospital’s actions, the jury verdict in favor of the women should be upheld.

Retaliation and discrimination claims can be confusing. If you have questions about discrimination, retaliation or believe that you have been subjected to adverse actions at work, it’s important that you talk to an experienced Georgia discrimination lawyer right away. For more information, please contact the top Atlanta discrimination attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for a free case evaluation.