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


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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