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Second Circuit dismisses HR Manager's Retaliation Claim based on Complaints of Executive's Affair with Subordinate

Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013 4:41 pm

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently dismissed a Title VII claim brought by the former HR Manager in a family business who quit after complaining about sexual favoritism showed by her brother, a company executive, toward a subordinate paramour.


The employee claimed that after she complained, she experienced a decrease in job responsibilities and authority in favor of the subordinate paramour. In concluding that she could not proceed on her retaliation claim, the Second Circuit reasoned that she failed to provide evidence showing that she engaged in protected activity with a good faith belief that she was complaining about complaining about improper conduct prohibited by Title VII. Her allegations did not involve complaints about improper treatment on the basis of her sex, but instead on the basis of the company executive's relationship with another employee. This, the court reasoned, is insufficient to state a claim for retaliation. Read more.


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