A federal appeals courtroom on Tuesday reinstated a retaliation lawsuit filed by a former Georgia Pacific LLC human sources supervisor who was allegedly terminated shortly after revealing she had given a deposition in favor of workers in a being pregnant discrimination case filed towards her former employer.
Jacqueline Marie Patterson was working as a human sources supervisor for Atlanta-based Georgia Pacific when she supplied deposition testimony within the lawsuit filed towards her former employer, a well being system, in response to the ruling by the eleventh U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals in Atlanta in Marie Patterson vs. Georgia Pacific, LLC, Alabama River Cellulose, LLC; Timothy McIlwain et al.
When the Georgia Pacific HR director requested her whether or not she had supported the employer within the deposition, she responded she had testified “on behalf of the women,” the ruling mentioned. She was terminated every week later with out being given a cause, in response to the ruling.
Ms. Patterson filed swimsuit towards Georgia Pacific in U.S. District Court docket in Cell, Alabama, charging retaliation beneath Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district courtroom granted Georgia Pacific abstract judgment dismissing the case.
The decrease courtroom was overturned by a unanimous three-judge appeals courtroom panel. The district courtroom concluded that beneath Title VII’s supervisor exception, Ms. Patterson had not engaged in protected exercise in giving the deposition as a result of she had been appearing in relation to her firm’s job tasks, the ruling mentioned.
However Title VII’s opposition clause protects any worker who has opposed an illegal employment observe, the ruling mentioned. “What issues will not be the job duties or title of the worker however the actions or conduct that precipitated the retaliation towards her,” the panel mentioned, in rejecting the decrease courtroom’s ruling on that situation.
The district courtroom alternatively dominated that Ms. Patterson didn’t have interaction in protected exercise as a result of it didn’t concern her present employer.
Nevertheless, “There may be nothing within the anti-retaliation provision’s opposition clause that allows an employer to retaliate towards certainly one of its workers for opposing an illegal employment observe of a former employer,” the panel mentioned, in reversing the decrease courtroom and remanding the case for additional proceedings.
Attorneys within the case didn’t reply to requests for remark.