This post is from my LinkedIn group—Charles Krugel’s Labor & Employment Law & Human Resources Practices Group. Occasionally, I’ll post discussions from my group if they pose interesting discussion topics.
Shaun Reid of the New York City management side labor & employment law firm Reid Kelly, posted an article from his firm’s website about a federal appellate case in which a company HR director was fired for their recommendations subsequent to an internal sexual harassment investigation. “The 2nd Circuit ruled that the director isn’t protected by the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, unless the investigation was in response to an EEOC complaint.” According to Shaun:
The case is called Townsend v. Benjamin Enters. Inc., 2d Cir., No. CV-09-197. The Second Circuit covers New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. This decision is consistent with the holdings of the 7th, 9th, and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeals. See Hatmaker v. Memorial Med. Ctr., 619 F.3d 741, 746-47 (7th Cir. 2010); EEOC v. Total Sys. Servs,221 F.3d 1171, 1174 (11th Cir. 2000); Vasconcelos v. Meese, 907 F.2d 111, 113 (9th Cir. 1990).
Although I disagree with the court’s finding here, my advice for companies is that it’s not wise to fire your investigator because you personally don’t like the outcome of their investigation. If you’re going to fire you investigator do it for objective reasons that have no connection to personal biases held by company officers/executives.
Below is the actual LinkedIn group discussion.