‘Manager Rule’ does not apply to Title VII, 4th Circuit rules

A counselor allegedly fired for helping another employee report sexual harassment can go forward with his Title VII claim against his former employer, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently held, overruling the district court and finding that the “manager rule” has “no place in Title VII jurisprudence.”

The “manager rule,” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires an employee to step outside his or her role of representing the company in order to engage in protected activity. The appeals court found that the rule does not apply to Title VII.
“The conduct protected by the FLSA is far more constricted than the broad range of conduct protected by Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision,” the court wrote.

According to court documents, plaintiff J. Neil DeMasters had worked as an employee assistance program counselor at Virginia’s Carilion Clinic for five years when, in 2011, he was fired for acting “contrary to his employer’s best interests,” failing to take his employer’s side and leaving his employer “in a compromised position.” Read more here