Materially Adverse Action

Plaintiff, an associate professor, brought a Section 1981 action, alleging that a defendant-university colleague retaliated against her for complaining about anti-Jewish discrimination in workplace. Shott v. Katz, No. 15-3528 (7th Cir. July 11, 2016). The District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state cause of action. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.

The Plaintiff alleged that the retaliation took form of defendant (1) rebuffing her invitations to collaborate on research articles and (2) requiring her to submit to physical examinations every six months in order to obtain prescription refills to treat her medical condition. The Seventh Circuit held that those alleged adverse acts were not materially adverse, where there was no allegation that the defendant had an obligation to work with her or had discouraged others from doing so, and defendant's choice concerning research projects was protected under the First Amendment. Also, the requirement that the plaintiff submit to physical examination every six months in order to obtain prescription refills was reasonable.