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Retaliation in the Workplace

Frequently, facts which lead to a claim of employment discrimination do more than simply that. They become the foundation for a claim of workplace retaliation. It is important that we remain mindful of the fact that even if a plaintiff does not sustain his/her claim of employment discrimination, whatever the basis may be, if the employee had a reasonable basis to believe that an employment discrimination claim existed and he/she engages in a protected activity by notifying the employer, and advises the employer that he/she will pursue a claim of employment discrimination and the employer then takes adverse employment action, the workplace retaliation claim may be valid although the employment discrimination claim may fail.

It is essential, therefore, that in considering workplace retaliation claims that we are mindful of the following sentiment that was expressed in recent decision in Weiss v. Morgan Stanley, (05-cv-3310 S.D.N.Y), namely that "a plaintiff may prevail on a claim for retaliation even when the underlying conduct complained of was not in fact unlawful so long as she can establish that she possessed a good faith reasonable belief that the underlying challenged actions of the employer violated the law."

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