Employers Beware: Retaliation Standard Eased By Jeffrey M. Schlossberg And Kimberly B. Malerba


In its unanimous decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White,1 issued on June 22, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court made it significantly easier for plaintiffs to show they suffered retaliation after complaining about discrimination.

The Supreme Court ruled that a female forklift operator was retaliated against when her employer reassigned her to more-demanding job duties and then suspended her following her complaints of sex discrimination. In doing so, the Court clarified significant conflicts among various courts of appeals and set a standard that eases the showing necessary for a retaliation claim.

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