Gone But Not Forgotten: Is Postemployment Retaliation Actionable?

Douglas Massengill
Donald J. Petersen

DOI: 10.2190/36B7-D2BY-LGUC-VKVF


Of the circuits addressing the issue, a majority have ruled that Title VII protection against retaliation extends to former employees. This has occurred despite the fact that Title VII explicitly designates only employees and applicants for employment. Courts that have decided in favor of postemployment protection against retaliation did so based on the belief that Congress could not have intended to deny such protection. On the other hand, the only circuit to have categorically denied this protection based its decision on the lack of mention of former employees in the provision forbidding retaliation against those making Title VII complaints.

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