The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that fired employee had a viable case of her being fired as a retaliation for a sexual harassment complaint. Why? Because the company's representative couldn't keep their story consistent.
In Donley v. Stryker Sales Corp., an employee filed a sexual harassment complaint with her HR department against a sales manager. Manager was ultimately terminated. Shortly after the company began investigating certain alleged misconduct by the employee that happened six weeks earlier, and found employee's conduct inappropriate. During the lawsuit, the employee’s supervisor and the HR director offered differing accounts of when the company learned of the alleged misconduct and why the investigation commenced. The court found that these inconsistencies, along with the delayed timing of the investigation, could constitute evidence of pretext for retaliation.