7th Cir. Holds Refusal To Give Promised Consulting Work To Terminated Employee Is Actionable
by Michael Fox
Although the Recording Industry Association of America's recent course of litigation may have been successful in dramatically reducing the amount of music being downloaded, did not fare as well this week in the 7th Circuit. In Flannery v. RIAA (7th Cir. 1/6/04) [pdf] the Court not only reversed the trial court's grant of judgment on the issue of timeliness, but found that the failure of the RIAA to follow through with consulting work that had been promised as part of his termination package could be retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination. The District Court had found that the consulting work was as an independent contractor, thus not covered by Title VII. Disagreeing, the 7th Circuit focused on his status as an ex-employee, which of course can be protected.