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No good deed goes unpunished

Complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination can lead to a plethora of legal problems. Sometimes, cases involving sexual harassment or other employee centric injustices are fueled by emotion; and when a person complains of some form of injustice in the workplace, severe backlash can occur not only to the victim but also any co-workers that may have assisted in reporting the incident.

Recently, an Atlantic City School District supervisor recently learned that he would be able to sue for retaliation after his salary was withheld with no explanation. The salary dispute took place in 2005, after the New Jersey man helped a co-worker report a case of sexual harassment against the school district's assistant superintendent. The occurrences led to an amassed number of accusations and legal ramifications.

After his salary was withheld, the school district supervisor filed a lawsuit. The Superior Court dismissed his case originally, but he took measures to appeal the decision. After the recent court ruling, he will now be allowed to sue for payment.

According to the court, the school board had no verifiable explanation for withholding the man's pay, despite the ongoing salary debate. The man maintains that, after his decision to help his co-worker file a sexual harassment claim, he experienced retaliation from his superiors. He believes that his withheld payment had nothing to do with a salary debate, but was instead linked to his efforts to stand up for his colleague.

Whether involved in a sexual harassment case or a case of employment contract enforcement, legal counsel knowledgeable in employment law may be necessary to ensure that the employer is held accountable for their actions.

Source: The Press of Atlantic City, "Atlantic City School District Supervisor can sue for retaliation over withheld pay," Diane D'amico, Aug. 4, 2011

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