It’s always been clear that taking negative action against an employee because he/she filed a discrmination complaint or supported another employee who did so is illegal under Massachusetts law. Now, the state’s highest court has made clear that employees are protected from retaliation even when the supposed misconduct occurs years after employment ends.
The May 2011 decsion by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) may take even seasoned employment lawyers by surprise. Indeed, few employee complaints even relate to post-employment conduct, and analyses of potential cases has consequently focused on events that occurred while a worker was employed. That approach, however, is suddently outdated by strong SJC language: “a person need not be an employee to enjoy” the protection of the anti-retaliation provisions of Massachusetts’ primary anti-discrimination statute, Mass. Gen. L. ch. 151B. [Read more…]