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Many employers were shocked and alarmed when the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2006 unanimously established a relatively broad standard regarding employees’ complaints of retaliation by employers when employees have made discrimination complaints. An examination of case law as well as comments made by those attending the 2006 Labor and Employment Law Roundtable at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration allow us to conclude that although employees who make complaints need to be treated carefully, employers need not panic. Instead, they must thoroughly document any personnel actions and base them on actual performance, making sure that any termination or demotion is, in fact, not a retaliation.


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