Today, our video podcast discusses situations in which seemingly “no brainer” termination decisions were second guessed by courts in light of the fact that employee had previously engaged in protected activity.
Mark’s paper discusses this issue in depth.
Courts have long held that the rights afforded to employees by anti-retaliation provisions are a shield against employer retaliation, not a sword with which one may threaten or curse supervisors. Florida Steel Corp., v. NLRB, 529 F.2d 1225, 1234 (5th Cir. 1976) (citing Corriveau & Routhier Cement Block, Inc. v. NLRB, 410 F.2d 347, 350 (1st Cir. 1969)); cf. Hamilton v. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 136 F.3d 1047, 1052 (5th Cir. 1998) (noting that anti-retaliation laws “are a shield against employer retaliation, not a sword with which one may threaten or curse supervisors.”). In actual practice however, the line is not always so clear.
Today, we will also discuss this situation through many blog posts. The cases teach that what sometimes appear to be “no brainer” termination decisions can become anything but, once seen through the lens of a retaliation analysis.