Negative Performance Review Alone Does Not Satisfy Adverse Employment Action Element of Title VII Claim

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a negative performance evaluation alone does not constitute actionable adverse employment action for a Title VII employment discrimination claim.  Chaib v. State of Indiana, No. 13-1680 (7th Cir.), February 24, 2014.  Due to the absence of the required element of materially adverse employment action, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in a Title VII case in which the plaintiff claimed that she was a victim of gender discrimination, national origin discrimination, and retaliation.  In the opinion, the Seventh Circuit stated that, “Not everything that makes an employee unhappy is an actionable adverse action.” 

What is the standard for materially adverse employment action sufficient to support a Title VII claim?  A quantitative or qualitative change in a term or condition of employment, or some type of real harm.