Supreme Court Rules That Employer Can Be Sued For Retaliating Against Fiancé Of Worker Who Filed Discrimination Claim
By Barran Liebman
Oregon law firm
In a new ruling that expands the legal protections against retaliation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on January 24, 2011, that an employee who claims he was fired because his fiancé filed a sex discrimination charge may sue their mutual employer for retaliation under federal law. The case is Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP.
Thompson and his fiancé both worked for North American Stainless (NAS). He claimed that after his fiancé filed a sex discrimination charge against NAS with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company retaliated by firing him. Thompson sued under Title VII, claiming that NAS fired him to retaliate against his fiancé for filing her charge with the EEOC. The structure of the claim was certainly unusual — it would probably not have raised questions if his fiancé had sued on the theory that the company fired her fiancé to retaliate against her. But the twist here was that she would not have suffered any financial loss — since he was the one who lost the job.Read the full article and discuss it »