Can A Prospective Employer Be Sued For Retaliation?
Readers of this employment law post have read about preventative measures that employers and employees should look for before executing employment agreements. The nature of the employment relationship and whether cause is required for termination are examples of features that many employees might wish they had reviewed in more depth at the outset.
There are also federal and state statutes that prohibit employers from taking an adverse action against an employee in certain protected categories, such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, to name a few. Those laws also protect an employee who has filed a complaint of discrimination based on one of those categories. Specifically, employers generally may not retaliate against an employee for alleging discrimination under an applicable federal or state statute.
But what about discrimination allegedly committed by prospective employers? Today’s post raises that novel question. Specifically, a woman who is involved in a sexual harassment claim against her former employer has also alleged that another company rescinded a job offer because of her pending litigation.
Generally, retaliation protections run against the same employer. True, prospective employers may be prohibited in some cases from inquiring about certain matters, such as racial or criminal background, or socioeconomic status. Yet revoking a job offer based on litigiousness -- or the fear that a prospective employee might be lawsuit prone -- is generally not addressed by most state employment laws. The woman has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the outcome has the potential to impact current employment practices.
Source: post-gazette.com, “New Pittsburgh-region casino retaliation claim filed,” Rich Lord