Supreme Court Expands the Scope of Retaliation

Supreme Court Expands the Scope of Retaliation

The Supreme Court has decided the retaliation case reported on here earlier.  In a unanimous opinion, in which Justice Kagan did not participate, the high court held that an employer retaliates illegally when it fires a fiancé of an employee who filed a complaint of discrimination.  The fired employee had lost in trial court, on the basis that he was not the person who had been the subject of the discriminatory conduct.  The Supreme Court disagreed, and continued its trend of protecting the rights of people to object to discrimination, on behalf of themselves or others.  The opinion says:

“We think it obvious that a reasonable worker might be dissuaded from engaging in protected activity if she knew that her fiancé would be fired.”

I think it should have been obvious that this kind of retaliation should not be legal, since, as the Court noted, “injuring him was the employer’s intended means of harming Regalado.”  It is good to have this settled, though.

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