Watford v. Jefferson County Public Schools, No. 16-6183 (6th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed by the Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) and Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA) provided that if an employee believed that they were discriminated against, that employee could file a grievance with JCBE; if the employee subsequently filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the grievance proceedings would be held in abeyance. Watford filed a grievance on the day she was terminated (October 13, 2010) and those proceedings are still in abeyance. Watford sued, alleging that JCBE and JCTA retaliated against her for filing an EEOC charge. The district court awarded the defendants summary judgment, The Sixth Circuit reversed, finding the judgment inconsistent with prior holdings that “an adverse action against [an] employee because the employee had pursued the statutorily protected activity of filing a charge with the EEOC” is “clearly” retaliation. The CBA is retaliatory on its face.