Thoughts on retaliation complaint by an in-house lawyer who reported a title VII employee complaint about company founder to company’s outside employment counsel? Subsequently scolded by founder for not immediately notifying founder about complaint, then founder blocked access to legal files and threatened demotion to contracts role? Is there a retaliation claim available here by the in-house lawyer?

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Is the report to outside counsel (without informing the internal leadership) a protected activity?

Blocking access to files and threatening demotion is arguably an adverse action, but I’m not sure it was in reaction to a protected activity.

Isn’t participating in an investigation related to discrimination a protected activity?

It can be. There is case law on this. I'd do a bit of research.

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