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Reprisal Cases



The following are some of the significant cases in this area. They are offered as a start to understanding the issues, and are not intended as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from DOI's Solicitor's Office or private counsel. These summaries are intended neither as a legal analysis regarding specific matters, nor as a complete review of the topic.

  1. Galdieri-Ambrosini v. National Realty & Development Corp, 136 F.3d 276 (2d Cir. 1998). Plaintiff, a secretary, alleged that she was retaliated against by being forced to do personal work for her supervisor and carry a heavier workload, due to favoritism for an attractive female co-worker. The Court held that there was "no semblance of gender-oriented motivation" for the discrimination and that plaintiff had complained about working on personal business, not of sexual harassment. Thus, as plaintiff could not reasonably believe that she was subjected to gender discrimination, she had not proven her retaliation claim.
  1. Kachmar v. Sungard Data Systems, Inc., 109 F.3d 173 (3d Cir. 1997). The plaintiff, an in-house counsel, alleged that she was terminated due to her effort to bring evidence of gender discrimination to the attention of her superiors. She complained of discrimination experienced by herself as well as possible violations with regard to other employees. The Court held that where plaintiff was taken off of the management track for "campaigning on women's issues" and where it appeared she was terminated for the same reason, she alleged facts that if true would demonstrate a retaliatory motive in her termination.
  1. Gleason v. Mesirow Financial, Inc., 118 F.3d 1134 (7th Cir. 1997). The Court held that because plaintiff never complained about discrimination prior to her termination, she could not prove that she had participated in a protected activity.
  1. Karpel v. Inova Health System Services, 134 F.3d 1222 (4th Cir. 1998). The plaintiff alleged she was retaliated against for filing a charge with the EEOC when her employer transferred her to another department, investigated her misconduct and terminated her. However, the Court held that the defendant's proffered explanation for her termination was not pretext where defendant had documented her poor performance, tardiness, and failure to complete required monthly summaries. Thus, the Court affirmed summary judgement for the defendant.
  1. Aman v. Cort Furniture Rental Corp., 85 F.3d 1074 (3d Cir. 1996). Court held that plaintiff had produced sufficient evidence to prove retaliatory discharge. She showed that she did not refuse to give a deposition in connection with the race discrimination charge of one of her subordinates, as the company claimed, but merely wanted information about her rights, and her discharge was for disloyalty, not insubordination, thus indicating that the company was not firing her for refusing to appear at the deposition. She also produced other evidence of a hostile environment, which is relevant to whether the non-discriminatory reason asserted by the employer was a pretext.
  1. The Office of Special Council. OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Their primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.