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Employee claims paid suspension was retaliation

Employees in Maryland who have been placed on paid suspension usually cannot claim that the move was an adverse employment action. Several court decisions, including one recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, have ruled that paid suspension is not an adverse employment action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, the court did not conclude whether an employer's use of paid suspension could be viewed as retaliation.

The case before the appeals court in Philadelphia involved an employee who claimed that she was a victim of sex discrimination and retaliation as well as common law wrongful termination and violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The plaintiff was accused of submitting fraudulent time sheets by her employer and then placed on paid leave while her employer conducted an investigation. After the employer concluded that the plaintiff had submitted forged time records, the plaintiff was fired.

Before the appeals court heard the case, the district court had dismissed the plaintiff's wrongful termination claim and granted summary judgment to the employer for the other claims. The appeals court upheld the district court's findings that the plaintiff did not have evidence of sexual harassment or retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment.

Many employees who are subjected to sexual harassment endure adverse employment actions like termination of employment or demotions. Even if an employee is not terminated, being subjected to a hostile work environment could force an employee to quit. An employee who has been sexually harassed or discriminated against at work might want to speak with a lawyer about filing a workplace discrimination claim.

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