February 3, 2013
Supremes Grant Cert. In Mixed Motive Case
The Supremes agreed to consider whether the prohibition on retaliatory employment actions in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and similarly worded statutes requires a plaintiff to prove but-for causation for an adverse employment action, or whether the law only requires proof that an improper motive was one of several reasons for an employer's action (Univ. of Texas Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, U.S., No. 12-484, cert. granted 1/18/13).
This is an important case to watch as it involves a common issue.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
In 2009, in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., the Court held that a plaitniff has to prove but-for causation for an adverse employment action, under the ADEA (which for all intents and purposes made it significantly easier for employers to engage in age discrimination, if not out right legalized age discrimination- only 12% of plaintiffs win age discrimination cases). Given the comparable ideological Court composition, including the remaining presence of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority opinion writer, if the Court adopts similar reasoning, it will effectively kill employee retaliation cases just as it killed age discrimination cases.
Posted by: Sujan Vasavada | Feb 4, 2013 3:08:51 PM