Retaliatory Harassment Is Actionable Under Title VII

One issue our paper discusses is whether retaliatory harassment is actionable under Title VII.

In Gowski v. Peake, 682 F.3d 1299 (11th Cir. 2012), a case decided in June 2012, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recognized a cause of action for a retaliatory hostile environment under Title VII, and affirmed a large jury verdict for the plaintiff under such a theory. In doing so, the court observed:

This court has yet to recognize a retaliatory hostile work environment claim. But every other circuit does. See Clegg v. Ark. Dep’t of Corr., 496 F.3d 922, 928–29 (8th Cir. 2007); Jordan v. City of Cleveland, 464 F.3d 584, 598 (6th Cir. 2006); Jensen v. Potter, 435 F.3d 444 (3d Cir. 2006), abrogated on other grounds by Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 126 S.Ct. 2405, 165 L.Ed.2d 345 (2006); Hussain v. Nicholson, 435 F.3d 359, 366–67 (D.C. Cir. 2006); Noviello v. City of Boston, 398 F.3d 76, 88 (1st Cir. 2005); Von Gunten v. Maryland, 243 F.3d 858, 864–65 (4th Cir. 2001), abrogated on other grounds by Burlington N., 548 U.S. 53, 126 S.Ct. 2405, 165 L.Ed.2d 345; Ray v. Henderson, 217 F.3d 1234, 1244–45 (9th Cir. 2000); Richardson v. N.Y. State Dep’t of Corr. Serv., 180 F.3d 426, 446 (2d Cir. 1999), abrogated on other grounds by Burlington N., 548 U.S. 53, 126 S.Ct. 2405, 165 L.Ed.2d 345; Gunnell v. Utah Valley State Coll., 152 F.3d 1253, 1264 (10th Cir. 1998); Knox v. Indiana, 93 F.3d 1327, 1334–35 (7th Cir. 1996). . . . The Fifth Circuit recognized the cause of action under the Energy Reorganization Act’s whistleblower provision. Williams v. Admin. Review Bd., 376 F.3d 471, 476–77 (5th Cir. 2004).

Id. at 1311 & n. 12.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Harassment, Houston Employment Law, Houston Retaliation Law, Retaliation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.