Two Recent Cases Expand the Scope of Potential Discrimination/Retaliation Claims Based on an Employee’s Relationship with Others


Two recent rulings—one by the U.S. Supreme Court and one by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)—have greatly expanded the scope of potential liability under federal and Massachusetts state antidiscrimination laws.

On January 24th, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Thompson v. North American Stainless (Thompson), holding that an employer may violate Title VII by retaliating against an employee who is related to a worker engaged in conduct protected by Title VII even if the employee himself neither raised a claim of discrimination nor engaged in any protected conduct.

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