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An adverse job action "must be materially adverse, meaning more than a mere inconvenience or an alteration of job responsibilities." [Ribando v. United Airlines, Inc., 200 F.3d 507, 510 (7th Cir. 1999)]. This includes termination, a demotion with a decrease in wages, a less distinguished title, a material loss of benefits, or significantly diminished material responsibilities. [Ribando v. United Airlines, Inc., 200 F.3d 507, 510 (7th Cir. 1999)].
An adverse job action is also termed as adverse employment action.
The following is an example of a case law referring to the term:
Not everything that makes an employee unhappy is an actionable adverse action. Otherwise, minor and even trivial employment actions that an irritable, chip-on-the-shoulder employee did not like would form the basis of a discrimination suit. Although the term is defined broadly, the adverse job action must be "materially" adverse, meaning more than a mere inconvenience or an alteration of job responsibilities. [Goad v. Sterling Commerce, Inc., 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 2496 (Ohio Ct. App. 2000)].