The antiretaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee after the employee opposes a practice that is unlawful under Title VII. To establish a retaliation claim under Title VII’s opposition clause, the employee must prove that: (1) she engaged in statutorily protected activity; (2) she suffered an adverse employment action; and (3) the protected activity was the but-for cause of the adverse action. Recently, a circuit split has developed over whether rejecting a supervisor’s sexual advances constitutes “protected activity” sufficient to establish an actionable retaliation claim. This Comment seeks to determine whether an employee engages in protected activity when “expressly rejecting” her supervisor’s sexual advances—that is, by simply stating “no” in response to the advances.
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