Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Supreme Court rules for employers in two significant employment cases.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued sharply-divided opinions in two employment discrimination cases, both times coming out 5 to 4 in favor of the employer. In one case, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Court ruled that employees seeking to prove unlawful retaliation under federal discrimination law must prove that the protected conduct was the "but for" cause of the employment decision, a more employer-friendly standard than courts had been applying. And in Vance v. Ball State University, the Court narrowed the definition of a "supervisor" for purposes of evaluating a claim of sexual harassment against an employer, holding that a supervisor for purposes of sexual harassment liability must have actual authority to make changes to the employee's status, rather than merely direct the employee's work.

More to come on these decisions. 


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