An employer must prove clearly and convincingly that it would have taken the same adverse employment action even if the employee had not engaged in protected activity.[i] The operative phrase here is “would have.” An employer fails to meet its burden if it establishes merely that it could have taken the same adverse action. “Clear and convincing” evidence can be quantified as establishing the probability of a fact at issue “in the order of above 70%.”
Many anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation statutes authorize reinstatement as an element of damages. If restatement is not feasible, a court may award front pay in lieu of reinstatement. There is no precise formula to determine the amount of front pay, A front pay award is intended to provide compensation for a period of time sufficient to allow the wronged employee an opportunity to obtain similar employment. As front pay is an equitable remedy, the judge usually determines front pay.
A constructive discharge occurs when the working conditions are so intolerable that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would feel forced to resign.