The Morales-Cruz case
Facts: Plaintiffs in retaliation cases do not have to prove a challenged action adversely affected their workplace or employment. Instead, the challenged
action must have been one that would likely have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. Myrta Morales-Cruz held
a teaching position at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. For failing to report a co-teacher’s affair with a student, the dean criticized Morales-
Cruz as “insecure,” “immature,” and “fragile.” A different professor commented that she had shown poor judgment, had “personality flaws,” and had trouble
with “complex and sensitive” situations. Morales-Cruz complained to the university’s chancellor. On the dean’s recommendation, the administrative committee
then declined to renew her teaching contract. Morales-Cruz filed a suit in a federal district court against the university, alleging retaliation in violation
of Title VII. The court dismissed her claim. She appealed.
In view of this information, analyze and justify your decision from a legal and ethical standpoint, using case law to affirm your decision by answering the
following issues in question: 1. Can Morales-Cruz bring a retaliation claim under Title VII based on her assertion that the law school’s dean had retaliated
against her for complaining to the University’s chancellor? Is her conduct protected by Title VII? 2. What are some examples of non-job related retaliation?
3.Could the dean have had legitimate reasons for changing his mind about the one-year extension? If so, what might they have been?
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