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Most employers are familiar with the increase in retaliation claims filed either as independent actions or in conjunction with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and related employment claims. The increase in retaliation claims is attributable, in part, to the 2006 Supreme Court ruling in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White. In that case, the Supreme Court abrogated decisions from multiple districts and broadened the definition of “adverse employment action” as a necessary element to sustain a retaliation claim. The other elements include engaging in an activity protected by Title VII, the employer’s knowledge of the employee’s exercising of the right, and a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action or harassment.

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