Supreme Court Victory for Employers Facing Title VII Retaliation Claims


On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court held in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, that the burden of proof for plaintiffs arguing retaliation in violation of Title VII is “but-for” causation, rather than the lessened “motivating factor” causation standard.

A former University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center employee, respondent Dr. Naiel Nassar, alleged that his immediate supervisor discriminated against him due to his religion and his race, and that the Medical School retaliated against him when he complained about the discrimination. Following a jury trial where Dr. Nassar succeeded on both his discrimination and retaliation claims, the Medical School hired King & Spalding to pursue post-trial district court proceedings and appeal the verdict to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit overturned the jury’s verdict on Dr. Nassar’s status-based discrimination, but affirmed the jury’s verdict with respect to the retaliation claim, holding that under the motivating factor causation standard, there was sufficient evidence that retaliatory animus played a factor in Dr. Nassar’s termination.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© King & Spalding | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


King & Spalding on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.