Thursday, May 28, 2020

Third Circuit: Lateral transfer is not an adverse employment action for discrimination claim

Hardly groundbreaking stuff here, but it is an issue that pops up from time to time. A disparate treatment employment discrimination claim requires an adverse employment action. 

In Anderson v. The Mercer Cty. Sheriff Department, the Third Circuit held that a sheriff department employee who was transferred to criminal court security did not suffer an adverse employment action. It was a lateral transfer:
[I]t did not cause a significant change in her employment status. Approximately fifteen other officers were transferred at this same time, and Anderson does not allege that her responsibilities at the criminal courthouse were significantly different from the functions of other sheriffs.
She tried to bolster her claim by alleging that the courthouse was contaminated with asbestos, and she had a doctor's note that it would be detrimental to her health. No dice. The asbestos-related symptoms did not arise until 2012, about two years after the transfer.  

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