Human resources employees that are investigating and/or acting to cure and eradicate discrimination in the workplace are protected from retaliation, even though this is part of their normal job duties, the Sixth Circuit has ruled. This is a sensible and good decision; the case is Jackson v. Genesee County Road Commission.
The plaintiff, Makini Jackson, was hired as human resources director by a county road commission. Part of her ordinary job duties included investigating discrimination complaints by employees and taking action to cease discrimination. The employer argued that she wasn't protected from retaliation for merely doing her ordinary job duties; it claimed that she had to do something to oppose or resist discrimination that was outside or beyond her regular job duties.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose rulings apply to cases in Kentucky, ruled that a human resources employees does not have to prove that she engaged in conduct outside her job responsibilities to maintain a claim for retaliation for those actions. The ruling is strictly only under federal law, but courts applying Kentucky law would likely follow this ruling.
This is a sensible and good decision; employees whose job includes reponsibility to address and take care of discrimination complaints should have the same protections as other employees.
Lexington, Kentucky discrimination lawyer Robert Abell represents employees and individuals in discrimination cases in state and federal courts in Kentucky.