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Summary of Legal Decisions: Post-Employment Claim of Retaliation Dismissed

Summer 1995

Bermudez v. Manpower, Inc., Civ. Action No. 94-C-649.

On June 23, 1995, John W. Reynolds, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted Manpower, Inc.'s Motion for Partial Dismissal, holding that a former employee may not bring a claim against his former employer for retaliation that allegedly occurred after the termination of the employment relationship. Mr. Bermudez resigned his employment with Manpower and subsequently became employed by TRC Holdings, Inc. He alleged that Manpower illegally retaliated against him when his former supervisor allegedly told his supervisor at TRC Holdings, Inc. that Mr. Bermudez had filed a charge of discrimination against Manpower.

Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., on behalf of Manpower, argued that, even if it occurred (which it did not), the alleged post-termination retaliation did not state a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Judge Reynolds, accepting the position adopted by a minority of jurisdictions, agreed. The court also held that there was no actionable retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which prohibits discrimination based on, among other things, national origin in the "... enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms and conditions of the contractual relationship." (emphasis in original).

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