Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds That Former Employee Can Bring Retaliation Claim Based on Conduct Which Occurred Two Years After the Termination of Employment

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Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that an employer may be liable under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B to a former employee for retaliatory conduct that occurs after the employment relationship has ended. In Psy-Ed Corp. v. Klein, the Court ruled that the employer’s filing of a “baseless” lawsuit against a former employee could constitute unlawful retaliation under Chapter 151B.

Stanley Klein was a co-founder and an employee of Psy-Ed Corp. While he was still employed by the company, Klein had submitted an affidavit to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in support of the company’s defense of a discrimination claim brought by another employee. Thereafter, Klein was part of an unsuccessful attempt to take over the company’s board of directors. As a result of this failed coup, Klein and the company agreed that he should terminate his employment as part of a negotiated settlement agreement. Unbeknown to the company and while these settlement discussions were still ongoing, Klein submitted a new affidavit to the MCAD, which was supportive of the pending charge. In this affidavit, Klein claimed to have remembered details that he had previously forgotten in his first affidavit.

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