The plaintiff, Diane Gorzynski, brought forth claims alleging hostile work enviornment, age and sex discrimination, as well as retaliation for complaints of race and age discrimination, against JetBlue, her employer. Gorzynski v. JetBlue Airways, Corp. (February 19, 2010).
On January 6, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released data concerning charges of discrimination filed with the agency in FY2009. The EEOC resolved a record number of charges alleging harassment and violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. FY2009 saw the second highest number of charge filings nationwide, 93,277 –just about 2,000 filings less than the record high set for FY2008.
A sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) against Duane Reade Inc., was recently settled for $240,000 and other relief. The lawsuit had alleged that Duane Reade, which operates over 200 drugstores in New York, had unlawfully created and failed to correct a sexually hostile work environment at one of its stores located in Bronx, New York.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from, among other things, retaliating against any employee who has opposed unlawful employment practices. An employee who speaks out about discrimination on her own initiative is clearly engaged in conduct protected by Title VII. Until recently, however, it was not entirely clear whether the antiretaliation provision’s protections also extended to an employee who does not speak out about discrimination on her own initiative, but, rather, answers questions during an employer’s internal investigation into discrimination.