United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Employment — retaliation
Where an employee engaged in egregious conduct during an EEOC mediation, his subsequent termination was not retaliation.
“Our approach in Hatmaker is equally apt for conduct during a mediation sponsored by the EEOC. If A.B. Data would have fired a person who barged into his superior’s office in violation of instructions, and said what Benes did, then it was entitled to fire someone who did the same thing during a mediation. See also Formella v. Department of Labor, 628 F.3d 381, 391–93 (7th Cir. 2010); Kahn v. Secretary of Labor, 64 F.3d 271, 279 (7th Cir. 1995). And Benes does not contend that A.B. Data would have tolerated conduct like his, had it occurred at work. If it did nothing else, the incident demonstrated Benes’s hotheaded inability or unwillingness to follow instructions about important matters.”
“Title VII covers investigation and litigation in the same breath. Since §2000e–3(a) does not create a privilege to misbehave in court, it does not create a privilege to misbehave in mediation.”
13-1166 Benes v. A.B. Data, Ltd.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Gorence, Mag. J., Easterbrook, J.